Trout in the Classroom

There has been a lot happening at Friends of Tawd Valley this week. Firstly, we had the fantastic Boxing Day walk that had an impressive turnout. The walk took place within Tawd Valley Park and despite the weather everyone seemed to have a really good time.

Next up, we’ve been busy working alongside Samuel Gibson of the Groundwork’s NW Love My River project, in setting up a brown trout aquarium in Dalton St. Michaels CE Primary School.

The purpose behind the project is to educate young people, not only about the lifecycle of a trout, but also the importance of looking after the environment and waterways that these magnificent creatures call home. At the end of the project we hope the children take away a love and passion for wild fish and their environment, because did you know that the river Tawd is home to wild brown trout? So, that is why its really important to look after our local wildlife and environments.

Anyway, we got working on the first stage of the project this week, which was the tank set-up and the creation of the working display wall in the classroom.

Work started by unboxing the tank and checking it for any signs of chips or cracks, once we were happy there wasn’t any, we put it into position and began with the installation of the filters, pump and chiller unit.

The filters and pump proved to be the tricky part of the operation, we had to make sure we had released all the air pockets within the pump unit to make sure it functioned correctly, but once we had sorted this the rest of the setup seemed to go nicely.

Once the chiller unit was fitted and showed to be moderating the waters temperature, we did our final checks to make sure no leaks were present, and tucked all equipment, hoses and leads away, so no trip hazards could occur.

The classroom’s display wall is nearly finished, but it will be a working classroom wall display, which means that the children can add to it at the different stages of the brown trout’s life-cycle.

Now that the tank has been set-up, we just need to make sure the water quality and temperatures are perfect before we can introduce the brown trout eggs. We are hoping the introduction will be mid January.

We are really looking forward for the children to see the developing stages of a brown trout in the tank, from egg to parr (trout that is less than one year old) and if all goes to plan, we are hoping that we can release the brown trout that survive into the river Tawd, when the time comes.

This will be the first of hopefully many trout in the classroom projects within the Skelmersdale school area. We would love to encourage and help local school children begin a life long passion for the local wildlife and environment that is around them.