The Chattahoochee Forest National Fish Hatchery hosted a trout-based education event in Atlanta, Georgia. The Fannin County Middle School teacher, “Althea Goble”, brought two hundred sixth graders to learn all about trout.
The kids were divided into 16 groups, and all the groups visited eight stations. Each station taught the kids a different aspect of trout or fishing. The Blue Ridge Mountain Chapter of Trout taught the kids to cast a fly rod and took them fishing in the creek.
The Chattahoochee/Nantahala Chapter of Trout Unlimited showed the kids how to tie flies. Emily Owenby, Nootootla Farms, taught the kids about macroinvertebrates found in the creek and their importance in the streams.
The Tiffany Penland, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, taught the kids about trout anatomy and dissected brown trout with them.
The hatchery crew took the kids on a tour of the hatchery and showed them what goes on there. Two middle school teachers, Chris Farr and Nathan Dean, taught the kids about water chemistry by testing water from the creek.
The Motor Vehicle Operator, Charles Hood, taught the kids about the life cycle of the trout, starting with eggs, they then moved out to Deputy Project Leader Joseph Helseth and Animal Caretaker Jamey Mull, who taught them about feeding, sample counts, distribution of the trout into North Georgia waters. Project Leader Kelly Taylor had the kids create their fish.
The kids had to draw the fish, name it, tell where it lived, tell what it ate and then present their fish to the rest of the group. Group members and Project Leader Taylor asked about the fish they weren’t necessarily told to consider.
This opened up a discussion about fish facts in nature. Goble and Project Leader Taylor are discussing making this an annual event for the school.