Hints for submitting your application for eggs and returning your permits


Of the 400 applications and permits we process each year, most go through without a problem. A few have issues and require additional time. If not dealt with, it is possible for a teacher to lose their eligibility to participate in the program.

Submitting your paperwork is not enough – it is the TEACHERS responsibility to check to make sure CDFW received the document.

more paperwork please

Most common problems:

  • Applications not complete or missing the principals signature
  • Applications sent by mail or fax are not received by CDFW

Hints to help get your application and permit approved

  1. Fill out the form completely (including having your principal sign the application)
  2. Scan the document and submit from your email address (do not send it from the scanner as CDFW security protocols do not allow us to open attachments from unrecognized addresses)
  3. Send a copy to your coach and keep a copy for your records
  4. Check the status of your submission at http://www.classroomaquairum.wordpress.com

Submit completed forms by email – R3CAEP@wildlife.ca.gov

Mail and fax submissions are discouraged but accepted:

7329 Silverado Trail, Napa, CA 94558

(707) 944-5563

NOTE: Most “lost” or “not received” forms come from these two sources. Be sure to check the status of your submission at http://www.classroomaquarium.wordpress.com


  • PDFs of applications and permits completely filled out
  • Faxes or hard copies of applications/permits completely fill out


  • Photos of applications of permits
  • Applications or permits sent directly from a scanner
  • Applications or permits that are not complete.

feels good to get stuff done


Applications (request for eggs)

Returning teachers: Applications for eggs are due by December 15

New teachers: At your training workshop (arrive with a blank application signed by your principal)


Within 10 days of release of your fry

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Grants and Awards Available

National Council for Teachers of Mathematics Is Accepting Applications for Projects Connecting Mathematics to Other 9-12 Grade Subject Areas

POSTED: April 1, 2017
DEADLINE: November 3, 2017

Grants of up to $4,000 will be awarded for the development of senior high classroom materials or lessons that connect mathematics to other fields….

Toshiba America Foundation Accepting Applications for Science, Math Projects

POSTED: April 2, 2017

Grants will be awarded to middle- and high-school teachers who are passionate about making science and mathematics more engaging for their students….

National Science Teachers Association Invites Nominations for Shell Science Teaching Award

POSTED: April 1, 2017
DEADLINE: December 15, 2017

The annual $10,000 prize recognizes an outstanding classroom science teacher (K-12) who has had a positive impact on his or her students, school, and community through exemplary classroom science teaching….

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Overheard At A Fish Tank…

I received this note by email:


Our eggs are safely in their temporary home–the kids were so surprised that they were so little!  Excited talk I heard around that tank,

“You can see their eyes!”

“They are rocking themselves to sleep, they must be tired”

“I didn’t know the would be orange!”🐟 (obviously some of them have missed the multitude of posters and power point presentations…but still…excitement is here to stay!)


Christie Cocks, Wright Charter School, Santa Rosa

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Steelhead Chant

This Steelhead Chant was created by two teachers:

By Matt Pope and Katie Carlson


I don’t know but I’ve been told

The Steelhead life cycle is very old

Females lay eggs in the redd

By moving their tales in the gravel bed

Males come along and fertilize with milt

And the cycle begins, the nest is built


The eggs lay there on the river ground

With a pinkish color and a shape that’s round

Oxygenated water must be really cold

So they hatch after being just a few weeks old


Sound off        Anadromous

Sound off        River and sea

Sound off        1234


The alevin’s have the yolk sac attached

This happens after the eggs have hatched

Give them the nutrition that they need

On the yolk sac they will feed


Once the yolk sac is all gone

The fry emerge with parr marks on

Which help them camouflage to not be prey

They search for food all night and day


Sound off        Cycle of life

Sound off        6 year span

Sound off        1234 endangered


After living in the river for one full year

Fry become smolt, parr marks disappear

Juveniles about 6 inches long

As they grow into adults and become strong


As an adult they can be almost 2 feet in length

Migrate to the ocean using their strength

Swimming downstream they make their way

For 2 to 3 years in the ocean they’ll stay


Sound off        Migration

Sound off        Unique fish

Sound off        1234 Steelhead


After living some years in the ocean blue

They migrate back knowing what to do

Using the scent of trees and the damp Earth

They return to spawn in the creek of their birth


The females move the tiny rocks in the gravel bed

They use their tales to make the redd

Eggs are laid and fertilized

Tiny pinkish spheres with two black eyes


Sound off        Cycle repeats

Sound off        Begin again

Sound off        1234 steelhead trout


steelhead chant

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Release Day Activities

Image result for trout in the classroom release


The release day is one of the most exciting days in the process of hatching fish. Bob Flasher created this list of activities you can use to extend the learning and fun on your release day:

  1. Science: Create a template for observing the weather and the ecosystem of the trout’s new habitat. This can be easily photocopied to distribute for attendees students to fill out. Items on this template may include: temperature of the air (if no thermometer is available they can write “hot, cold, mild,”), temperature of the water, biotic factors, abiotic factors, the amount of wind and sunshine. This template may also include an area to draw, color, and label the location.
  1. Language arts: Standing in a circle, ask students to share how they feel about today’s activities. Another option is to challenge them to come up with one word that best describes their experience today. They may also want to share wishes for the survival of their trout in the wild.  Then, in their journal, record observations of the watershed, feelings about freeing the trout, poems about the trout life cycle, etc.
  2. Physical education: Play Oh Trout! to return student focus to the basic needs of trout: food, water and shelter. If you’ve already played this enough, do Habitat Lap Sit instead.
  3. Habitat Lap Sit: Students form a shoulder-to-shoulder circle. Have each student in turn call out the basic survival needs of trout, going around the circle (food, water, shelter, food, water, shelter, etc). All students then turn to face one direction so they are looking at each other’s backs. Take two or three sideways steps toward the center of the circle.  (Students should now be uncomfortably close to each other.) Instruct everyone to put their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them.  If this is still a reach, have everyone take a few more steps toward the center of the circle. Then on the count of three, students, keeping their knees together, try to sit on the knees of the student behind them…as the student in front of them tries to sit on their knees in turn.  If the habitat has all the basic needs in the right places at the right time, the circle of sitting students will hold.  If it doesn’t, the whole ecosystem will collapse. After a collapse, ask students if they would like to try again, telling them that students in one grade below theirs did it successfully.
  4. More science: Play Ecosystem Connections, a game in which students become scientists trying to see the connections between everything in the watershed. Groups of 6-7 students stand in a circle, shoulder-to-shoulder.  Each reaches across the circle and grabs the hand of one other student.  (This simulates one of the local ecological connections like trout eating insects, or sunshine growing plants.)  Then each student reaches across the circle with their free hand and grabs the hand of a different student.  The challenge is now to untangle this knot of inter-relationships to see the connections more clearly.  Students can rotate hands, but cannot let go of hands while they work cooperatively to untangle the knot. Most groups will succeed.  Some end up in one circle and others in two interlocking ones. If some groups finish quickly, ask them to form a new knot and try again to see whether their success was luck or skill. Some get stuck and you can tell that group that it’s nighttime now and interactions will change.  Ask students to release one hand and grab a different hand, then try to untangle the new nighttime knot. If they still can’t succeed, you can tell them that ecological relationships are so complex that scientists still haven’t figured out most of them.
  5. Culinary Arts: Have a parent volunteer bake trout-shaped cookies, which the students can decorate with icing, sprinkles, etc. Another option is to make chocolate trout beforehand using a mold. These can be shared with chaperones, principals, and the press on release day.


Have fun experiencing the watershed that your aquarium simulated. Appreciate the birds, dragonflies, newts, and other wildlife that are sharing your trout’s habitat.  Send us your ideas and copies of the work generated by your students.

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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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