WEYBURN – Two Weyburn classrooms will once again watch the cycle of life in the form of Rainbow trout eggs, hatching and growing into fingerlings, through the FINS (Fish in Schools) program from the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation.
This will be the second year in Candice Porter’s kindergarten class at St. Michael School, and the children were excited as Larry and Judy Olfert of the Weyburn Wildlife Federation delivered a container with 100 Rainbow trout eggs on Tuesday afternoon.
They also delivered eggs to the Weyburn Comprehensive School for their fish tank. Both schools participated in the program last year, and then released the fingerlings into Rafferty at Mainprize Regional Park in early June. The plan is to do the same this year.
The kindergarten students watched as their teacher poured the eggs into the tank, which has to be kept dark and temperature-controlled until they hatch. Porter had some of the food that the trout will eat later on and had the children smell it, as they will have responsibility to feed the fish as they grow through the late winter and early spring months.
The excitement will start when the eggs hatch and again once the eggs alevins are released into the full tank. These are tiny fish with the yolk sac of the egg attached to their bellies. When they have consumed all of the yolk sac and grown in size, these fish emerge from the gravel, and are then considered fry.
The Weyburn Wildlife Federation initially applied to the Saskatchewan Federation to take part in the program, and provided $1,800 to buy two 100-gallon aquariums and the related supplies.
The Olferts are also talking to a teacher at Yellow Grass School who may also be interested in having the program, and if they are, the class will need to apply to the Sask. Wildlife Federation by June for next year.
The eggs were provided by the SWF’s hatchery in Fort Qu’Appelle, and they provided the supplies and expertise so the classroom teachers know what they have to do to take care of the fish from eggs up to fingerlings.