Fish in Schools program educates students

Johnny Petryshyn, Saskatchewan Wildlife conservation officer from Preeceville and Ken Somogyi, Provincial Fisheries chairman explained to a group of students from Melville the importance featuring the Rainbow Trout fish that they were releasing into Lady Lake on June 14.

The students had raised the fish through the Fish in Schools program. There were approximately 300 trout released that were a collaboration of four schools: Ituna, Melville, Sacred Heart and Regional who were part of the program. Melville Grade 11 students were the only students who attended the release.

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Petryshyn briefly spoke on the fish, invasive species, and the release progress. Somogyi spoke on the program and provided some background education to the students on rainbow trout.

The Fish in Schools program has allowed staff, students and interested community members to have a hands on experience and learn about the rainbow trout eggs.

The students had the opportunity to learn about and understand the different cycles a fish goes through," said Somogyi.

The Fish in Schools (FinS) Program provides Saskatchewan students with a first hand look at fish and aquatic habitats in their very own classroom, stated the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation website.

The program involved raising trout from eggs to fry before releasing them in a provincially stocked waterbody. In January/February, eyed trout eggs are placed into special classroom incubators.

Students cared for their fish by monitoring and maintaining the conditions required for their trout to thrive. In May/June, the trout were ready to be released by the students. FinS is an opportunity for schools and students to get involved with their local SWF (Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation) branch, and for SWF branches to give back at a local level. Enrollment of a school in a FinS program was endorsed by a local SWF branch, which will act as a liaison between the school and the provincial FinS coordinator at the SWF Central Office.  Branches are responsible for helping with equipment set-up and maintenance, delivering eggs to the school, and assisting with the release of the fish.