Trout in the classroom
The Perkiomen Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited (PVTU), is an organization dedicated to the conservation, protection and restoration of coldwater fisheries and their watersheds and supports local schools with Trout in the Classroom (TIC), an interdisciplinary program in partnership with the PA Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) and sanctioned by the PA Department of Education. The program introduces conservation education in the classrooms by raising brook trout, native coldwater fish, from eggs received in November from PFBC, to fingerlings during the school year which are then released by the students in the spring in the local watershed. Brook trout are used since they are “indicator” species, fish requiring the same clean water conditions that people need to survive.
PVTU directly supports the schools through chapter members, with one designated as the TIC Coordinator, who oversees the program, a position recently assumed by Jim Coffey. The TIC Coordinator works with our partner institutions, from assisting in equipment set-up in the fall, meeting with the classes throughout the school year to observe the students and their teachers as they feed the fish, and assists in maintaining clean aquariums, testing the water to assure safe levels of nitrates, nitrites, ammonia, etc., and even amending the water with additives to correct unsafe conditions. We have, on occasion helped partners even secure funding grants to support the program. The TIC Coordinator, along with other chapter members, assist with fish releases in the spring during which they provide an overview of fly fishing, in addition to teaching and giving the teachers and students an opportunity to cast a line with a fly rod on “release day”.
PVTU presently supports six schools in the Souderton, Spring-Ford and Upper Perkiomen School Districts with TIC – Evans Elementary School, Hereford Elementary School, The Perkiomen School, The Souderton Charter School Collaborative, Upper Perkiomen High School, and Upper Providence Elementary School.
PERKIOMEN CREEK STREAM RESTORATION AT AMERICAN LEGION POST 192, PALM
The Perkiomen Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited (PVTU) partnered with Sundance Creek Consulting, The Montgomery County Conservation District (MCCD), Penn State Master Watershed Stewards and Upper Perkiomen High School for a stream restoration project designed by Karl Lutz, a retiree from the PA Fish & Boat Commission, on the Perkiomen Creek, along the property of the American Legion, Post 192, in Palm. The work required extensive use of heavy equipment provided by Dave Schneck, Inc.
The project was carried out over five days in mid-October, 2017, and included stabilization of the stream banks, enhancement of the riparian buffer, restoration of a natural, stable stream channel and the creation of aquatic habitat. These goals were attained through the use of embedded logs and root balls, as well as the placement of two large rock deflectors along the opposite stream bank. Numerous large boulders were positioned mid-stream to help break up the uniform water flow and add habitat. Volunteers from PVTU and MCCD provided the manual labor for the removal of invasive species and the disturbed areas were then planted with native seed and covered with straw matting, to aid in the restoration. The planting of live stakes and container trees will conclude in the spring, 2018.