Trout in the Classroom News

Pennsylvania TIC Transitions to Rainbow Trout Eggs for 2019-2020 School Year

Sep 19, 2019
Learn how and why Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom (TIC) is transitioning to Rainbow Trout eggs instead of Brook Trout eggs for the 2019-2020 school year, including important tips for caring for Rainbow Trout eggs in your classroom and a special presentation from PFBC Fish Health Unit Leader Coja Yamashita.

As the TIC program continues to grow (e.g. 90 TIC programs in 2008 to 452+/- for 2019-2020), we are always looking for ways to continue to maintain a sustainable program, one that benefits TIC teachers, students, and program partners, but also one that does not impact Pennsylvania's water resources. 

As the responsible organization for Pennsylvania's aquatic resources and the provider of Pennsylvania TIC trout eggs, PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), will be providing Rainbow Trout eggs in place of Brook Trout eggs for the 2019-2020 TIC School year. 

Important Changes for 2019-20 

  • TIC participants will receive Rainbow Trout eggs instead of Brook Trout eggs.
    • Rainbow Trout do tend to do better in a “closed system” environment.
    • This doesn’t mean we won’t have ANY troubleshooting issues, but it may help decrease some of the concerns/issues.
  • Mid-October – Rainbow Trout eggs will be shipped to you.
    • Earlier delivery = less holiday stress
    • With the trout arriving earlier – They will most likely hatch and swim-up (begin eating food) when you are still in the classrooms, not over holiday breaks like Thanksgiving/Christmas!
    • This also means –  potentially fewer die-offs that usually occurs when they hatch or swim-up over holiday breaks.
  • Early September – TIC participants must have equipment set-up
    • This will ensure your equipment is ready for the arrival of your Rainbow Trout in mid-October
  • Please review the revised PATIC Fact Sheet for the most up-to-date program overview, classroom objectives, and getting-started tips. This fact sheet includes a revised timeline for your TIC program based on PATIC's use of Rainbow Trout eggs in place of Brook Trout for the 2019-20 school year.

Why is Pennsylvania Trout in the Classroom transitioning to Rainbow Trout eggs instead of Brook Trout eggs for the 2019-2020 school year?

The change in trout eggs being provided is part of a proactive approach to decrease stocking of hatchery Brook Trout statewide. This approach is part of an ongoing management strategy the agency is implementing to minimize conflicts between hatchery Brook Trout and PA’s Wild Brook Trout populations. Implementation of the approach began within the hatchery system of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), then rolled out to PFBC’s Cooperative Nursery Program and is now keying in to the TIC program.   

The management strategy is an important effort to continue the enhancement and protection of PA’s Wild Brook Trout populations and their coldwater environs from threats such as:

  • Pathogens/parasites, such as Gill Lice (Salmincola edwardsii) for which Brook Trout are “hosts/vectors”
    •  Gill Lice are a current and real issue for PA’s Wild Brook Trout populations. PFBC Fish Health Unit Leader Coja Yamashita presented on the presence and impact of gill lice on Wild Brook Trout populations on 7/18/2019 at the PA TIC Trout in the Classroom Summit in Harrisburg. Watch the full presentation below or online here.
  • Potential degradation of genetic integrity of Wild Brook Trout populations
  • Potential competition with hatchery raised Brook Trout

Thank you for your continued dedication to connect youth to PA’s coldwater resources and thank you for your support in our efforts to protect PA’s Wild Brook Trout populations!

Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission