Saint Rose Catholic School was selected by the Lourdes University's Science for Valuing the Environment to be awarded the 2020 Eco-School Award for its Trout in the Classroom middle school elective course and for promoting understanding and respect for the environment.
Summary of the program as presented to S.A.V.E.:
Saint Rose Catholic School started the Trout Unlimited Trout in the Classroom in 2019 as part of the spring semester course selections for 7th and 8th grade students. Working with Trout Unlimited and the Ohio DNR, trout eggs are delivered to school in early January. The eggs are placed in a tank that has been specially prepared by the students for the eggs and eventual trout fry. Students monitor water temperatures, chemical and biological levels as the eggs hatch and the trout grow. During the first year, only about 18 trout survived to be released. This year, out of the 100 or so eggs that were received, about 70 or so trout were released at Cold Creek in Castalia, Ohio. During the course, the students learn about the habitat that trout require. They need cold, clean water, without pollutants or silt. Trout streams are very rare, especially in Ohio, where it is difficult to find streams with consistent water temperatures in the mid 50 to mid 60 degree fahrenheit range. The students check on the trout everyday, record data, clean the water, and feed the fish as they grow. The class typically ends in the spring with a field trip to Castalia for the release of the trout into the stream. Last year was a great trip and the students took a tour of the hatchery, the stream and learned about the blue hole, where perfectly cooled water percolates to the surface while being filtered by the area's limestone. This year, Dr. Borgelt, the class's teacher, and his family took care of the trout during the remote learning time due to COVID and released the trout in the stream. "It was disappointing that the students could not participate with the daily care of the trout and help with their release, but I was able to send images and reports to them through email. My daughter, who is a third grader at Saint Rose, did a great job helping me with the trout and enjoyed seeing them find their new home."