Teachers love trout, too: Feather River TU hosts TIC training

Alan Morrison explains tank set-up at Feather River TU's recent TIC workshop.

 

By Cindy Noble

Plumas County, California, is a little slice of “trout paradise.”

Outstanding fishing in the Feather River watershed. Native Eagle Lake rainbows to our north. The hex hatch on Lake Almanor in early summer. And many secret spots in Lakes Basin above Graeagle, which never fail to amaze visiting anglers.

Plumas County is the “home waters” of the Feather River chapter of Trout Unlimited (FRTU). FRTU has one of the state’s smallest chapter rosters, but our Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program is making waves far beyond the county lines.

FRTU now sponsors TIC in more than 20 classrooms in Sierra, Yuba and Plumas Counties.

Our chapter takes pride in its youth outreach efforts, and our local TIC coordinator, Kristy Hoffman, deserves a lot of credit for expanding and improving our TIC program.

Kristy kicks some ever lovin’ water into the eyes of more than 300 students. She’s an experienced angler and watershed educator who really helps people connect to streams and trout.

Feather River TU works to protect and restore trout habitat and fisheries in the Feather, Yuba, and Little Truckee river watersheds. Our signature accomplishments include working with junior anglers (FRTU hosts multiple fishing derbies and provides Trout in the Classroom) as well as our major conservation project on the Little Truckee River, now in its 6th year.

The chapter is working with several partners – including Wilderness Challenge students from Sierra County -- to restore and enhance habitat and ensure the Little Truckee provides great angling opportunities from top to bottom.

Recently, FRTU sponsored a TIC workshop for new teachers recruited by Kristy Hoffman with stories of science based activities that are both educational and fun! Educators learned how to set up and maintain a 10-gallon mini-hatchery to raise trout in their own classrooms.

Fifteen new classrooms will be provided, free of charge, with a full suite of equipment and support bringing the program up to date and ready for a spring egg delivery.

Then, for approximately six weeks, participating K-12 classrooms will care for a tank filled with 30-40 trout eggs delivered from the state's trout hatcheries by TU volunteers. Students will observe life cycle changes from egg to fry and eventually release their “home grown” trout in a state-approved stream before the end of the school year.

Certainly one of the workshop's highlights was local fishing guide Bill Forward and TU member Wayne Cartwright teaching fly casting lessons to the educators. Participants soon had colorful lines unfurling effortlessly behind them on a gorgeous November day.

For more information about what FRTU is up to go to our web site www.frtu.org or call Cindy Noble at 530-249-0444 or Trout in the Classroom Coordinator Kristy Hoffman at 530-283-0455.

 

Cindy Noble is president of the Feather River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

 

Thanks to those who helped make our recent TIC teachers workshop a success: Common Good Foundation, Grizzly Ranch Conservancy, Rasmussen Foundation, and the Plumas and Sierra County Fish and Game Commissions for their generous support; Joe Ferreira (CDFW) for covering permitting and fish release requirements; Forward Bound fly fishing instruction and guiding; FRTU members Bill Copren and Tim Kurdupski for their explanation of egg delivery day; and retired teachers Alan Morrison and Brenda Ross for providing expertise with aquarium set-up.

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