A special partnership with community groups and state wildlife agencies has provided an opportunity to have kids learn about tagging trout. Yes, tagging them, alive and inside the fish’s body cavity.
A mix of awe and disgust was written on the faces of seventh graders observing biologist Jim Gregory as he radio tagged a trout. The students learned the process of inserting the tag into the fish, and how to use iodine as a disinfectant. At first the students thought the iodine was blood.
The Jackson Hole Middle School students were on a field trip of a lifetime. They were able to see real uses of what they learned in science class at the Hoback River site, thanks to a partnership with Jackson Hole Trout Unlimited, Community Foundation of Jackson Hole, Teton County Conservation District and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
“The Adopt-A-Trout program works with the local school districts to include students in a telemetry movement study by allowing classes to adopt and follow radio-tagged fish throughout the year,” Leslie Steen, Snake River Headwaters Project Manager for Trout Unlimited.
According to Steen, the program is intended to introduce students to experts who show them “the importance of Wyoming’s watersheds to a wide array of interests.”