From Frank Pomponio, DCIS faculty advisor: “This was an experience these students will always remember. My students are still talking about the trip, and it is my belief that you kick started some new passions. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUdjzLG25wI
Denver Trout Unlimited’s first aquatic habitat project has come FULL CIRCLE.
In May of 2013, our first co-sponsored and initiated project to restore a healthy aquatic habitat in the Denver South Platte was completed at the Carson Nature Center. Immediately, adult trout repopulated the runs, pools, and feeding lies created by the insert work funded by Denver Trout Unlimited, Urban Drainage and Flood Control, the City of Littleton, and South Suburban Parks and Recreation.
In May of 2014, trout from DTU funded Trout in the Classroom were released into this very water at Carson Nature Center. DTU members, students, Carson Nature Center, the trout, and of course the raptors were all ecstatic.
Here’s a report from from Frank Pomponio’s classroom at Denver Center for International Studies:
The classroom project has been a huge success. The students have really embraced the fish as “classroom pets”, and enjoy watching their growth. Having this micro environment in the classroom has given the students a firsthand look at intraspecies competition and how the more fit truly do survive.
The aggressive behavior and territorial nature of the trout have been a constant topic of interest and conversation in the class.
Our 170 eggs hatched the week of October 3rd. On Jan. 14th our count was 50 fish ranging in size from 3/4” to 1.5”.
As of March 28th our numbers are at 40 fish. We expect to release the 1st or second week in May in the South Platte somewhere below Chatfield reservoir, probably your rebuilt habitat section in Carson Nature Center.
The students are amazed at the growth rate and how one fish in particular has established dominance in the tank. The range in sizes and aggressive behavior are always a topic of conversation.
Mar. 28, 2014
The fry were released by the class into the Denver South Platte at aquatic habitat improvements in Carson Nature Center in June. Colorado Parks and Wildlife, National & Colorado Trout Unlimited, South Suburban Parks, and of course the Denver Center for International Studies all helped make it happen with staff and supplies on the river bank.
The trout release was a great success! Carson Nature Center did an excellent job talking about the history of the stream and the restoration project. They also took the students on a hike giving a lesson on streamside habitat and ecology.
Garrett Hanks and from TU led the students in the releasing of the trout and then showed the students how to capture and identify stream invertebrates. Towards the end of the day, they set up fly rods and gave the students lessons on how to cast.
During the release, each student had their own fish in a cup and found a spot in the stream to release the fish. They had a blast! When the bus dropped us off back at DCIS several students came up to me saying this was the best field trip they have been on since attending DCIS.
Of the 150 eggs we started with, 35 fingerlings made it into the South Platte.
For next year, I am already thinking about starting a club, which integrates fly-fishing into the club. Garret and I are hoping to get together and talk about it sometime this summer or fall.