Utah Council of Trout Unlimited Events

June 18-20

single fly
Green River Single Fly

Trout in the Classroom

cutthroat slam
Utah Cutthroat Slam

Utah Fly Fishers Hall of Fame


BY David E. Leta, Statewide TIC Coordinator for Utah

Thank you for your interest in Trout in the Classroom (TIC). This program introduces Utah students to fish husbandry, fish biology, and aquatic conservation through the hands-on learning experience of raising trout from fertilized eggs in their own classrooms. The program is a partnership between the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), various Utah school districts, and Trout Unlimited (TU), a national trout fishing, habitat, and conservation organization. The program begins in January with the delivery of fertilized eggs to the classrooms and continues through May when the fish are released to approved DWR locations. TU volunteers (liaisons) work with the teachers to assist them, as needed, with setting up their equipment, delivering the eggs, providing minimal instruction to the students about fish and fishing, troubleshooting any problems that arise along the way, and assisting with releasing the fish.

The DWR provides as many fertilized eggs as are needed, but TU must advise the DWR about which teachers are participating in the program no later than November 30th of each year so that the DWR can arrange for enough eggs. During November, teachers set up, test and “season” their tanks with the water at room temperature. In late December, just before the eggs arrive, teachers reduce the water temp to 50-55 degrees Fahrenheit, so it is ready to accept the eggs. [Trout live in cold water, unlike tropical fish]. Liaisons then deliver the fertilized eggs to the classrooms in early January.

TU does not provide funding for teachers to acquire the necessary equipment. Most teachers obtain funding through their local school district education foundations, through a STEM grant, from private donors, or from a combination of these and other sources. The equipment can be purchased online or at a local pet supply store. Fortunately, the equipment is a one-time expense. The annual cost of testing chemicals, filter pads, etc. is very minimal. If the equipment is properly maintained and cleaned, it will last many years. The DWR provides the eggs and fish food at no cost to the teachers.

If you have further questions, please contact David Leta, at david.leta@gmail.com, 1380 S Chancellor Way, Salt Lake City, UT 84108 or at 801-560-5382.