Teachers Weigh In On Changing Delivery Date of Rainbow Trout Eggs

Would changing the date of egg delivery impact your experience of hatching rainbow trout?

In weighing the benefits and drawbacks of changing rainbow trout egg delivery from late January to late February, we decided the best people we could get feedback from are the classroom teachers. An online survey was sent to 198 teachers that hatched rainbow trout 2012/13 school year.

The results were overwhelming in favor of making the change. We realize this may have a negative effect on a small number of classes. We will do our best to work with these schools to mitigate these issues and can re-evaluate at the end of the season.

This is what teachers had to say:

124 responses out of 198 sent surveys

(Not all respondents answered all questions)

1. We are considering changing the delivery of trout eggs from the end of January to the end of February. Would you consider this change to be:

Response
Percent
Response
Count
Positive? 39.3% 49
Negative? 8.9 % 11
Neutral? 51.2% 63

 

(123 responses)

2. How would this change/impact you and/or your class?

  • Only one concern and that is that our Spring Break is right at the 7th week: 4/14 – 4/18
  • It would be fine either way…the weather might be nicer for the release…
  • Our students are not in school for 2 weeks in March. They would miss the changes in the fish.
  • We’re good either way. However, it is easier to keep the eggs cold with January delivery.
  • Would this allow for a longer observing period? If so, then positive. Not sure of the purpose of the change, but am flexible. Spring break for us the week of is April 13.
  • I have no problem with either. The end of February is better for most because of ski week
  • Not much change.
  • It is preferential (for scheduling) to release the trout prior to our spring break (March 31st). The current timing also works into the classroom schedule quite well.
  • Either month works for me… thanks for continuing to make the program possible!
  • Its fine
  • Eggs arrived during Finals week on the old schedule. This would be better.
  • It would be a good one since March has more unpredictable weather for releasing eggs.
  • Less conflict with the buildup to fourth grade writing test – YAY!!
  • The eggs would safely last over the Spring Break in February.
  • More time after holidays to prep tank, prep students
  • It would not impact my class as I will pick up my eggs at the end of March.
  • No impact. We will take eggs whenever you feel is the best time to deliver. I do know that the President’s Day week off seems to always be a factor with the January Delivery.
  • Either way is good for us. We would just have to check in with the timing of vacation.
  • No real difference
  • The first part of our year is always very busy so pushing the delivery date of the eggs back by one month work much better for us.
  • A later delivery date would give me more time to prepare after winter break – which would be a good thing. Other than that, the later delivery date would have no major impact. I’d just schedule my trout lessons differently.
  • I don’t think that this change would impact my class that much. As long as we still have the same amount of time with the fish, I do not think that the change will negatively affect me.
  • Would interfere with spring break dates. For us it is always the 1st week of April.
  • Not a problem.
  • This would be so much better! I had to skip my participation one year because having the trout fell over President’s week and my principal would not allow me access to my classroom to maintain the tank. I would love love love it!!!!!!!!!! Also, the weather would be nicer during the release time.
  • I am flexible.
  • There is a better chance that the weather will be favorable in March than February for the release for the trout.
  • Better scheduling with state testing timeframe/conference week with parents, etc. Later for me would be better.
  • It would be a little bit more difficult to schedule out release date.
  • Because our Spring Break fluctuates with Easter, every year, we would be out of the classroom for 11 days due to Spring Break usually end of March through April.
  • We start test prep in March, spring break is the end of March, and it would be challenging to get the lessons in around test prep and I would like to release them before spring break.,. It worked well last year.
  • As long as all the other variables are the same – length of time until hatching, water temp, etc., it should not make a difference.
  • Not sure that it would
  • More in line with spring life cycle lessons.
  • We go to outdoor school March 3-7 so no one would be here to take care of tank or any additional concerns. I think they will be OK, I hope.
  • It would be great! I have been asking for this timing for years – this way we will not have to deal with February break.
  • I’m fine with either. Moving it to the end of February might mean we would have better weather for the release- maybe.
  • For me, it would be good because it would fit better to what I’m teaching
  • It will not impact my classes. I am happy to have them at any time.
  • Already planned curriculum around trout, so would need to replan…
  • It seems like it may allow more time for planning
  • I am usually getting my class ready to think about science fair projects, end of Dec. beginning of Jan. Our fair is the end of Feb. We could showcase our trout eggs and project then.
  • It would fit better with our timeline (when we teach watershed/ecology)
  • Would make no difference.
  • No impact
  • It wouldn’t affect us too much. We have Spring Break in mid-March, so it would mean we would enjoy the fish for a shorter period of time.
  • We release the trout just before our 2 week March break. This year it starts Mar. 17. The trout will be immature and we won’t have the full experience of their development.
  • It would enable us to have better weather for our release. As long as the amount of time the eggs/fish remain in the classroom is the same, I like the idea.
  • Some positive, some negative. We have February Break mid Feb. So, it would be good to not have to worry about them during that time, as we have in the past. However, we have Open House the beginning of April, which I’m figuring will be the new release time? Logistically that might be difficult, there is a lot to do to get ready. But, we would make it work. Our spring break is mid-April, so we would need to release before then.
  • I’d work around your schedule. However, that’s another story for my science specialist. I would defer to her.
  • It would not
  • The kids missed some of the eggs hatch because of Feb break so after break better
  • Probably for the better since we have run into rainy weather in the past that dampens the turnout.
  • Not a factor.
  • I believe it would be easier to work out a field trip to release the trout if they hatch out later.
  • We would not miss any part of a stage because of vacation (ski week students have a week off).
  • We are on a two week break at the end of March.
  • Since we do our science fair the first week in February, moving the trout to later would be good.
  • It would be better because in January I would rather be doing weather activities.
  • None
  • We would not have them hatching over February break AND we might have a better chance of “no rain” upon release.
  • I would not have to monitor the tank over Feb. break and my students would not miss a week of trout development.
  • I would make a few curriculum changes. It should not be a big ripple in the teaching of science.
  • The only thing I’d worry about is being able to raise the trout and release them before our spring break. It is late this year, but sometimes it is early April.
  • I actually prefer the idea, but I’m concerned that our spring break will be right around release time.
  • No huge change
  • No real impact; As long as the time to release isn’t too close to spring break
  • It wouldn’t.
  • In the past sometimes we have been in jeopardy of the eggs hatching over the February break. This did happen once and it was a problem for teachers and the kids did not get to see them hatch.
  • Not at all.
  • Usually I have to figure out care for the eggs and alevins during ski week…and try to coordinate the release for the week following. Moving it back a month could make the organizing easier for me!
  • None
  • This would affect our release date field trip, and this year it would be close to an overnight field trip we traditionally take. Because we had an EXTREMELY wet release a couple of years ago in mid-March, I think this change is a good one, although it might be a little more difficult this year.
  • No, not really
  • No impact
  • The new date would miss our Winter Break in mid Feb. and a 3 day fieldtrip that we take at the end of Jan. The kids would have more observation time.
  • We would like it even later if possible.
  • I don’t believe it will impact my class very much, but my class assignments have changed this year and that may affect whether or not I participate in the Trout in the Classroom program this year.
  • I am totally flexible – no impact at all!
  • It would give me and my students more time to set up and establish the tank.
  • I think this later date would solve the problem of the fish hatching during our week off (ski week) in February. I’m not sure of this, but I do remember we worry about that every year.
  • It would be ok as long as I know ahead of time I can plan for it.
  • If the release date is moved to the middle of April, it could impact our ability to go on a field trip during the test prep period, or the testing window.
  • Just change in schedule
  • No impact
  • This is inconvenient for this school year because the field trip paperwork has already been submitted for March 4. It will not be a problem in future years.
  • None, except the eggs may be delivered while we are away on outdoor ed.
  • The release date would be in mid-April which is super busy at my school
  • It would change field trip dates and the structure of our science units!
  • The eggs won’t be here during our mid-winter break in February, so no risk of anything happening while we are gone, and the kids won’t miss out on anything. Often, the eggs hatch while the kids are gone!
  • My spring break is the week of April 21, would they be ready to release by then
  • I’d push the watershed study later in the year…
  • Easier from a break standpoint
  • It would put us closer to our unit on habitats which would be great.
  • Not at all.
  • The weather would hopefully be better on the release day.
  • No impact.
  • No impact
  • We would teach our unit on freshwater ecology later which would work better for us
  • Would make it less hectic!
  • It would be fine if it were after Feb.23 (We have mid-winter break Feb 17-21).
  • I do not foresee the change impacting the class.
  • It might be easier for me to set the tank up and be ready. Also I have a week break that seems to fall in the middle of February that school is out.
  • If the eggs come after our February break (2/17-2/21) it will definitely help the process.
  • We have a week off at the end of Feb. so it would work best if they came the very last week of Feb. so the kids can be here the day they are delivered.
  • it would be closer to the time that I teach life science. usually I am in the middle of physical or earth science in Jan.
  • I would just adjust my lesson plans.
  • The delivery date would be after ski week break, so the eggs would not be left w/o daily observation and care.

3. If this change is made, will you be able to participate (even if it is less ideal for you)?

Yes 91.8% 113
No 1.6% 2
Unsure 4.9% 8
 

4. Do you have any comments or suggestions on the Trout-in-the-Classroom program overall you would like to share?

  • Overall excellent program and everything runs smoothly thanks to our local volunteers. One concern is always whether or not the cooling unit will work for the duration.
  • I love this program and my students are thrilled to be a part of it every year! Many thanks to all who make it possible!
  • I will not be at school to look after the fish for 2 weeks of March.
  • Kids love this project. Thank you for being dedicated stewards.
  • Thank you for the invaluable learning experiences and the outstanding volunteers who make this fabulous program available to students who don’t get out into nature a lot.
  • Love it!
  • Love the program!
  • I will be starting up after 2 years and may need some extra help.
  • Is there going to be a Class offered this year for new teachers to join?
  • It wouldn’t be a problem for me this year because our spring break isn’t until later than it has been for the last few years, but the release date could come close to some school’s spring break. Usually this break is just one week, so there may be enough flexibility in the release dates to accommodate this anyway. LOVE TIC!!!!
  • love it! Can’t wait to do it again.
  • It is an excellent program!
  • I just hung my Trout posters up yesterday. I am really looking forward to the program. My students have the benefit of raising trout multiple years and that is lucky for them. This year we hope to make a field trip out of it. Thank you.
  • This is a great program which provides practical experience raising trout’s in a classroom setting.
  • It’s fabulous!
  • Love it, love the volunteer fisherpeople.
  • This program connects students with nature in a powerfully positive way. It helps children see themselves as stewards of their local environment. It gives them a feeling of kinship with other living beings. Thank you.
  • Awesome program!!!
  • It’s a great program. It would be nice to keep the fish longer, feed them and watch them grow if I could keep my tank at a cooler temperature.
  • I love the program and am so excited about this possible change. It has greatly impacted my students. A few years ago, I had a student who was mute. I had never heard him speak. Each child got a change to drop their egg into the tank and he was so fascinated by the activity he actually began asking me questions about the fish. I’ve also found it to be a huge benefit to my students in that they are more concerned about litter going into Lake Refugio where we released our trout last year.
  • Love it! Wish we could keep the hatched eggs longer, but the darlings would starve.
  • To avoid the permits not being issued on time, and upsetting the various agencies involved, could the sponsoring fisherman clubs obtain the permits for the release, instead of the teachers doing this? With so much paperwork on our plate, and working with students during the day, it is very possible the paperwork may not be done – or done at the last minute. Could the sponsoring clubs arrange this directly and provide at the time of the drop off for the eggs?
  • My class really enjoyed participating & they are looking forward to doing it again this year.
  • Because of a late Spring Break this year I think it would still work.
  • I LOVE it! I work it into most aspects of my curriculum. This year I will be switching to more project based learning, and I can see that the trout program will fit in perfectly! Thanks for running the show.
  • Thank you so much, we love you!!!!
  • How can I find out if other teachers in my district can participate? I imagine it would require the availability of fly fishermen to support the classroom lessons.
  • I was not able to show the DVD on my Mac computer. it shows such wonderful illustrations and color. I would like either an updated version or a “fix” so I can use it for my class.
  • Can’t wait to do it again this year!!!
  • It’s a great, well-run program!
  • LOVE it. I am totally flexible.
  • I’m excited to participate again!
  • This is a magically engaging program for students and teachers!
  • I love the program and no matter what time of year I will fit it in.
  • I love this program!!!
  • Students and staff are looking forward to this event in room 23. They will be very disappointed.
  • Not really. It’s great… thank you!
  • It was the best. My students learned so much from the experience.
  • No
  • It is very important to have support to check the setup of tanks and equipment before adding eggs to check for problems that the teacher may not see. Also I wonder if we should feed the fry or not? Is the jury out on that topic?
  • I have had a die-off that last couple years and would l like to brainstorm ways to prevent this.
  • I thought it was very positive for the children to experience.
  • This change would allow more learning and less stress over timing.
  • Not in a survey.
  • Is there any way to get more eggs? What is the max that the ten gallon tank can support? I have more classes this year.
  • we would just like the kids to be able to see better, more often. They love it!
  • Love the program!!!
  • Best thing I do all year!
  • Feel the information on the “no need to feed” was not accurate. Our two classrooms had the same outcomes; a mass slow death. We checked all info and specs. We came to the conclusion they were starving to death.
  • no
  • Although recently the eggs have seem to be less viable, the students still are fascinated by the process.
  • I have retired and will not be in the classroom this year. Thinking generally of the program, if the eggs are delivered in late February, teachers that have February break won’t have to worry about monitoring their tanks over the break.
  • no
  • Thanks for all your help!
  • I love it. Just want to make sure if I need new filters etc., that those will be available.
  • Last year at our release party, the kids really loved to practice with the Fly Poles. I think it would be great to do that again and maybe some other activity, like making bait or even sampling trout food??
  • I’m ready
  • Our 4th grade class has been participating for more than 10 years, but I am thinking about skipping this year because it is so disheartening to have them all die 2 years in a row. I guess I’m hoping that some of the reasons for the die-off will be figured out.
  • Love the program – thank you for all you do!
  • Last year’s eggs/hatchlings were not a success and there was talk that there had been something wrong with the eggs to begin with. If something can be done to insure better quality eggs, that would be appreciated since we put so much time and effort into this project and the kids are so invested emotionally.
  • It’s wonderful!!!!
  • Love the program!
  • I love the program and hope to participate again!
  • Can’t wait for next year:)
  • I am just worried about my tank and equipment. I had so many eggs die even after all the work I did to sterilize everything twice. I don’t want to have to redo my tank again. It would be nice to have some guidance on that. Wally was great and I guess it happened to several people, not just me.
  • Great program! The students love it and there is always something new to learn. I especially love the activities about our local watershed and think they are extremely important.
  • Thanks for the work to continue this program! The students and I enjoy it.
  • Pleasanton Unified is on “Spring Break” from March 31-April 4. This might be a problem…
  • Would we still have the eggs/alevins in our rooms for the same amount of time? I hope so!
  • Nope. We love the program.
  • love the program.
  • Excellent program and I would not mind adjusting my lesson plans for it!
  • It is fun!
  • I really needed better communication with my mentor-person. Like I wanted food for the fish and he never brought any. My colleague’s fish mostly died, perhaps because of no food. Otherwise it was great!
  • I look forward to it, no matter what time of year! Thank you!
  • No, it is great.
  • great program
  • Love it.
  • I enjoy the program and so do my students
  • I would love to see some publicity (TV/newspaper). It’s a great community supported event that shows great support for science in the classroom.
  • It’s been great
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About Ethan Rotman

Ethan Rotman (Bayareatic) manages and coordinates programs that hatch fish in classrooms for the San Francisco Bay Area. He also chairs the committee that manages these programs throughout the state. Ethan has worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for over 20 years.
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