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Energy & Environment

Wabeno Students To Raise Brook Trout In Classroom

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Students at Wabeno High School are doing some work with brook trout right in their classroom.

More than 100 brook trout eggs were delivered to the Wabeno High School as part of the Trout in the Classroom program, a nationwide effort where young people raise trout eggs into small fingerlings while learning about trout biology, habitat and conservation.

Wabeno Elementary participated last year.

Trout Unlimited sponsors the program. Laura MacFarland is a T U spokesperson. She says the organization has the program to make youth familiar with trout.

She says there's a good amount of interest in having a good brook trout population in the North Branch of the Oconto River...

"....they will be raising trout from eggs to fingerlings, just a few inches long, currently, those eggs are just starting to hatch They will be raising the fingerlings which will entail monitoring the tank for water quality, helping feed the trout. They will be engaged in conversations throughout the semester about what a trout needs to survive...."

In the early 1950s, three millponds that warmed the river and degraded water quality were partially removed. Trout Unlimited volunteers have partnered with the Forest Service upstream of Highway 32 to narrow the stream resulting in deeper, cooler water. This resulted in a great increase in the number of trout.

MacFarland says additional restorations are slated for 2018...

"...those dams were never fully pulled out, so the river is still disconnected and not properly functioning. By removing the remnants of the mill dams, hopefully in 2018, Trout Unlimited, the Forest Service, DNR and other partners are looking to further improve the populations. In addition we'll be doing some in-stream habitat work as well...."

The brook trout eggs for the school project were donated by Silver Moon Springs Trout Farm at Elton in Langlade county.

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