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Rob Potter | Democrat

Sullivan West fifth-graders Emma Phillips, center, Pamela Lizotte and Emily Peterson-Stanton, right, hold up cups of water containing the young brown trout they are about to release into the Callicoon Creek on Tuesday morning during the Trout Day activities at Sullivan West Elementary School. Also pictured from left to right, are Hunter Shampine, Jackson Haberli, Kelly Graham and teacher Sue Mullally.

SW fifth-graders enjoy Trout Day activities

By Rob Potter
JEFFERSONVILLE — May 14, 2010 — Tuesday was Trout Day at the Sullivan West Elementary School in Jeffersonville.
The 80 to 90 youngsters in the fifth grade participated in the Trout Day activities. They divided into five small groups to visit five stations where adult volunteers discussed and demonstrated fishing equipment and techniques. The stations included Fish Carver, Fly Casting, Fly Tying, Entomology and the National Park Service’s Trail Enviroscope.
The day marked the culmination of the students’ participation in the Trout Unlimited “Trout in the Classroom” program. Back in October, the SW fifth-graders and their teachers received hundreds of brown trout eggs to care for during the next six months as the eggs transformed into small fish.
The trout eggs were supplied by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Trout Unlimited. Last fall, the DEC and Trout Unlimited held a seminar at the Roosevelt Estate in Hyde Park for all of the teachers throughout the state who would be participating in the Trout in the Classroom program this school year. The teachers then brought the trout eggs back to their local school districts.
The SW fifth-graders completed the Trout in the Classroom program under the guidance of teachers Kelly Erlwein, JoAnn Mullally, Sue Mullally and Linda Schaefer.
“The students cleaned the fish tanks, took the water temperature and kept journals,” Erlwein said.
The youngsters also removed any dead eggs from the fish tanks.
Erlwein noted that the SW sixth-grade students also raised brown trout through the Trout in the Classroom program.
The Trout in the Classroom program at SW was sponsored by the Upper Delaware chapter of Trout Unlimited and Jeff Bank. Erlwein noted that the two sponsors helped purchase the fish tanks and the chillers which kept the water at the ideal temperature for the young trout.
In addition to visiting the five stations, all of the fifth-graders and their teachers walked from the school down to the Callicoon Creek to release the trout.
“We have been very successful with this program,” Sue Mullally said. “About 85 of the fish survived, so each one of the students will be able to release a fish into the creek. All of the trout are about three to four inches long now.”
Before releasing the fish, the boys and girls divided into teams of two to record some information about the creek, which would become the new home for the trout. The students recorded the pH level of the water, took the water temperature, noted whether or not the water was clear and checked for signs of erosion and pollution.

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