Should I Feed My Fish?

Feeding the fry is a very nurturing behavior. Students feel they are “caring and providing for” their young charges. Fish that are fed while in the classroom may grow larger more quickly. Many teachers struggle on the issue of whether to feed the fry or not. The danger is that the fish food adds contaminants to the tank as does the fecal matter generated once the fish begin eating. This makes it more difficult to keep the tank clean and increases the risk of mortality.

feeding fish

As the fish are only in your tank for a maximum of 8 weeks from egg delivery, they do not need to be fed – they can survive for a couple of weeks without food. Some teachers opt to feed the fish for a day or two prior to release as this fulfills the desire students feel to “nurture” the fish while minimizing the risk of mortality.

If you choose to feed fry, here are some guidelines:

  • Only use the food provided by CDFW hatcheries.
  • Provide a tiny amount of food. Less is better; more is dangerous. If any food particles fall to the gravel, the fish have been overfed.
  • Use your sterilized turkey baster to remove all debris from tank on a regular basis and change the water frequently to reduce contaminants.
  • Watch for dying fish and if spotted, release the survivors as soon as possible

We recommend NOT feeding the fish, or feeding them just prior to release. Ultimately though, it is your decision. Good luck with your fish!

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Watch Eggs “Dance”

New Videos Available Of Eggs Incubating and Hatching

The eggs seem so quiet and still in the tank but they are not! Jim Scherer of Grizzly Peak Fly Fishers created several videos of eggs incubating and the fish emerging from the egg. One is a  time lapse video of eggs in a tank where he has condensed 12 hours into 1 minute.

We have posted 3 videos and will be adding more soon. Take a look. The links are posted on the CAEP webpage for curriculum aids – scroll down to the “Video” section.





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Resources For Language Arts

Here are two excellent resources to help you encourage your students to read about fish as you move through the process of hatching fish:


Student Reading List

This list includes titles that provide content-related, grade-appropriate reading opportunities for your students as they participate in the MinnAqua Leader’s Guide lessons and activities. These recommended titles support the lesson concepts and learning objectives of each chapter
A short but helpful list of aquatic related book reviews.
Image result for students reading
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National Trout in the Classroom Quilt Project

Do you or your teachers want to join in the national trout/salmon quilt project?  It’s an opportunity for a class to share their TIC/SIC story with other classes, and to hear back from TIC/SIC students across the country!

quilt debbie doreen small

All each class has to do is decorate quilt squares – 8” x 8” pieces of fabric, usually about 25 total – and send them to the other participating schools.  In return, you’ll receive squares from around the country, which you can sew together as seen at

Note that this year’s theme is SYMBIOSIS.

If you’re interested, sign up via google form by February 3rd. .  Signing up is a commitment to make and send out the ~25 squares.  You’ll have about a month to decorate the squares and write letters to your fellow TIC/SIC classes; squares will be due out to the other schools by March 6th.

Detailed instructions are included in the PDF file attached to this note.  That way, if you wanted to get started early on your craft project, you totally can!  Remember, this year’s theme is SYMBIOSIS.  See the attached file for more information.

A more detailed set of instructions and full mailing list will be sent out by February 8th.  This year we are creating quilts that do not need to be washable.  This expands the types of media you can use on your quilt.  It does not need to be waterproof, but should stand up to many excited students handling the square when they receive it.

To sign up, click here to fill out the form by February 3rd.

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Micro-Grants for Kids

The Karma for Cara Foundation is a nonprofit founded by 21-year-old Cara Becker and her family while Cara was undergoing treatment for leukemia at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center. Cara and her two brothers began volunteering at a young age as part of their family’s commitment to community service, and at the Kimmel Center they saw a tremendous need to help support other patients and their families who were also challenged by cancer. Tragically, Cara passed away four months after her diagnosis, but her wish to help others through K4C lives on with the support of an ever-growing circle of family and friends.

To date, the foundation has awarded forty grants totaling $27,286 and has engaged hundreds of volunteers in more than a thousand hours of community service.

As part of an effort to promote and support youth voluntarism, k4C started a microgrant program in the fall of 2014 to encourage kids 18 and under to apply for funds between $250 and $1,000 to complete service projects in their communities. Examples of fundable projects include but are not limited to turning a vacant lot into a community garden, rebuilding a school playground, or helping senior citizens get their homes ready for winter.

Application deadlines are seasonal (July 1, October 1, January 1, and April 1), and decisions will be made within a month of each deadline.

For complete program guidelines, profiles of featured projects, and application instructions, see the Karma for Cara Foundation website.

Link to Complete RFP


If you choose to apply, please feel free to contact Ethan to help with your application.

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Connect Your Class With Another Class Hatching Fish

California State Parks PORTS Distance Learning Program is looking for a few classrooms in the Bay Area to connect with a classroom in Humboldt to talk about their experience hatching fish the classroom using video-conference technology.


Ideally we are wanting a 4th grade class but are open if you are enthused. All you need is a computer with a camera and we will help you do the rest.

Imagine how exciting it will be to allow your students to talk with students at another school who are also hatching fish.

Send me an email if you are interested.

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A Review Of The Recent Teacher Training Workshop From A Coach

Following the December 10, 2016 TIC workshop in Sausalito, one of our coaches send the us this email:


“Hi Bob, for me and different classes I have taught over many years, what you and Ethan have re-tuned over the years, really works. This years breaks between lectures, from different speakers, gives the teachers a break, and up doing one of the student exercises, gets the body activated, and oxygenated, and blood flow. We have to remember that the teachers have had a full week with students, and the weekend is their own down time to chill, and do their fun & games. Also during these different breaks, gives the teachers a break to think over what was presented to the class, and maybe some questions might come up after these breaks, as I saw this last Sat. When I was teaching the U.S. Power Squad boating class in the evening, for 25 yrs., you learn to read faces of people who have worked all day, rushed home, ate, and now listening to how to run a boat.

Students being part of the teaching, helps keep everyone on board, and I felt you and Ethan hit it out of the park this year, for me, I wouldn’t change it. Maybe you and Ethan could do what Ethan is going to do with the new teachers, and ask their input of the training class, and maybe ask the presenters and coaches. That’s my appraisal of the class. Thanks for asking.




Les Junge is the lead coach for Pennisula Fly Fishers


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