September 26, 2011
A local business and community college students have donated their time and expertise to ensure that Trout in the Classroom (TIC) in Southern Virginia has fresh, cold water for raising trout.
Patrick Henry Community College heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) students, supervised by Mike Bryant, and Richard Prillaman, L.J. George, Charles Agee and Roger Hall of commercial HVAC contractor Prillaman and Pace have helped with maintenance and repair of the water chiller units which are critical to the survival of the young trout.
While Prillaman and Pace employees are experts at this type of work, the PHCC students learn while working on the repair and restoration of these systems. For the upcoming season of Trout in the Classroom, a full trout tank system has been set up in the college and the students will raise some of their own trout while continuing to repair broken chillers.
The chiller is the most important piece of equipment when raising trout in an aquarium, according to a news release from Krista N. Hodges, education outreach coordinator with Dan River Basin Association, who works with Trout in the Classroom.
Trout thrive in cold, clean water and their abundance directly reflects the quality of the water in which they live, making them ideal for teaching students about the importance of protecting local rivers and streams, the release stated.
In the Trout in the Classroom program, students receive their trout as eggs and take care of them for several months until they reach fingerlings. Then, they release them into the local streams. It helps students make the connection between the trout, water resources and the environment, and how they all relate to the students’ lives.
Trout in the Classroom was established in Virginia in 2005 by Martinsville orthodontist Dr. David Jones, and it has been sustained by the Dan River Basin Association through funding from The Harvest Foundation and volunteers.
During the 2010-2011 season, there were more than 100 tanks distributed across Virginia and at least 30 in this area. The students and teachers raised and released more than 2,000 trout into local streams.
This program is made possible by the Harvest Foundation and other funders such as the Stanley Family Foundation, Wild Turkey Federation and Rotary Clubs.
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