Chicago area students ace Trout Unlimited's 'Trout in the Classroom' conservation program

 
Submitted by Jim Schmiedeskamp
Updated 4/5/2019 5:28 PM
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  • Sixth-grade students at Queen of the Rosary grade school in Elk Grove Village study the characteristics of a live mayfly. The lesson was part of Trout Unlimited Oak Brook chapter's "Trout in the Classroom" conservation program.

    Sixth-grade students at Queen of the Rosary grade school in Elk Grove Village study the characteristics of a live mayfly. The lesson was part of Trout Unlimited Oak Brook chapter's "Trout in the Classroom" conservation program. Courtesy of Jim Schmiedeskamp

What has two antennae, three tails, two eyes and six legs? If you answered a sci-fi alien space invader, you are wrong.

However, if you correctly identified a mayfly or damselfly, you are probably either an avid fly fishing angler, or your son or daughter recently participated in the Trout Unlimited Oak Brook chapter's "Trout in the Classroom" conservation program.

This week, students at six of 12 participating schools had the opportunity to study aquatic insects up close and in person during interactive classroom sessions conducted by Trout Unlimited adult volunteers.

The "Trout in the Classroom" program allows participating schools to raise trout from eggs in November to juvenile trout in a 55-gallon aquarium tank and release them in a northern Illinois trout stream.

This year, the Oak Brook chapter supported 11 school programs.

Students from these schools will release their trout fingerlings in early May.

In its 11th year, the 2018-2019 school year program is currently in place across 12 Chicago western and south suburban middle and high schools.

To learn more about the "Trout in the Classroom" program, free monthly Saturday youth fly fishing classes and annual youth fly fishing and conservation camp, visit the nonprofit organization's website at obtu.org.

Oak Brook Trout Unlimited is dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring coldwater fisheries and their watersheds in the Midwest. The Oak Brook Chapter is comprised of over 1,200 members from Chicago's western and south suburbs and downstate Illinois and is part of the national Trout Unlimited organization (www.tu.org).

The Oak Brook chapter, formed in 1973, has been a persistent advocate for and contributed money and volunteer energy to coldwater conservation projects nationally, regionally and in its home state. It has helped with conservancy projects from the shores of Lake Michigan and Superior to the Ozarks of Missouri. Oak Brook Trout Unlimited has supported TUDARE (Trout Unlimited Driftless Area Restoration Effort) -- its current flagship Midwestern stream program -- through operating grants and monetary contributions, volunteer efforts and planning collaboration with local government partners for projects in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

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