Trout In the Classroom Program

Smyth County News and Messenger news coverage of June fish releases click on:


METU participates in the Trout in the Classroom program--a conservation-oriented environmental education program.  Local middle and high school students in Marion, Chilhowie, Saltville, Abingdon, Meadowview, Glade Spring, Wytheville, and Bristol raise trout from eggs to fingerlings.


The Trout in the Classroom project fits perfectly into the national mandate STEM program to support and encourage Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.  From an early age students become engaged in recording water quality, pH, ammonia, habitat restoration, and biological growth measurements.  These observations and recordings provide fundamental research training in the scientific method.


The teachers’ enthusiasm for this program is obviously contagious as we’ve grown to nine schools.  Through chapter fundraising, METU provides the necessary equipment as well as replacement equipment.  To cover capital expenses for the aquarium, chiller, pump, and filter, the cost is $1200 per system.  After a school is fully equipped, the costs in subsequent years are minimal.


Every spring students gather to release their fish into the Holston River.  The process of raising, monitoring, and caring for young trout teaches the science of this fragile ecosystem, fosters a conservation ethic and promotes an understanding of this valuable and shared water resource.