VINS Partners with Trout Unlimited

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Quechee, VT – VINS is delighted to partner with the Vermont Council of Trout Unlimited to support the Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program in schools across the state. Trout in the Classroom is an environmental education program in which students raise brook trout from eggs delivered in January by Trout Unlimited before releasing them in a local stream in late spring. VT Fish & Wildlife provides the trout eggs and offers hatchery tours. TU volunteers help teachers set up their tanks, troubleshoot water chemistry and fish health problems, and participate in fieldwork activities with students.

Trout in the Classroom began approximately 30 years ago, and each year thousands of classrooms across the country host active TIC projects. These programs typically result from unique local collaborations among teachers, volunteers, outdoor-oriented organizations, and government agencies. Trout Unlimited, which oversees TIC in Vermont, is the principal sponsor for 30% of the country’s TIC programs.

Teachers tailor the program to fit their curricular needs. While TIC requires a focus on science, the program has marvelous interdisciplinary applications in numerous other subjects, including mathematics, social studies, language arts, technology, and fine arts. Thus, TIC can be as narrowly focused or as broadly applied as the teacher wants to make it.

With respect to science study, the essential aspects of the program are learning about early trout development, monitoring tank water chemistry, and maintaining good water quality. Through such experiences, students grow to understand ecosystems, develop an appreciation of water resources, and begin to acquire a conservation ethic.

Vermont’s TIC program has been offered at all grade levels PreK-12 but may be best-suited for students in 3rd through 6th grades. Experience has shown that even third graders can accurately, reliably, and conscientiously perform all water chemistry tests and tank maintenance tasks.

VINS and Trout Unlimited, both at the state and national level, provide extensive technical and curricular resources for teachers. Members of Vermont’s five TU chapters serve as volunteers at schools in their respective regions.

As the lead facilitator for TIC in Vermont, VINS organizes a workshop each fall for teachers and volunteers and is also available for ongoing support and consultation.

The Vermont TU Council’s mission is to conserve, protect, and restore the cold water fisheries and watersheds throughout Vermont. Their conservation projects and education programs are designed to improve and maintain viable trout waters and to help prepare future generations for responsible stewardship.

The Trout in the Classroom program aligns perfectly with the VINS mission to motivate individuals and communities to care for the environment through education, research and avian wildlife rehabilitation. For more information about Trout in the Classroom, visit