Christy Gugliocciello’s fourth-grade class at Mountaintop Area Elementary School is participating in a project this school year for the first time ever that’s getting the students acquainted with fish native to Pennsylvania.
Through the Trout in the Classroom initiative, the class received about 200 viable brook trout eggs and a custom fish tank in November from the Spring Creek Chapter of Trout Unlimited. The mission is to create a classroom environment for students to raise the trout that are expected to get about the size of an adult human finger. By the end of January, there were about 100 fish in the tank.
In the spring, Gugliocciello and her students will head to Bald Eagle Creek in Milesburg to release the fish.
“We got the brook trout because there’s something special about them – they are the only native trout to Pennsylvania and the state fish of Pennsylvania,” she said.
Gugliocciello said the project is separate from class curriculum, but allows students during class to take care of the fish by feeding them, and making sure the water is at healthy levels and temperatures.
*The Trout in the Classroom initiative was made possible through a partnership with the state Fish and Boat Commission and Council of Trout Unlimited.