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Pittsburgh-area elementary students release trout they raised from eggs

Pittsburgh-area students release trout they raised
Pittsburgh-area students release trout they raised 02:02

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Kids got a lesson in fish and clean water in Washington County on Thursday. After months of raising trout, students from Trinity Elementary Schools saw their projects come to an end at Mingo Creek Park in Nottingham Township. 

School buses pulled up to the park filled with fifth graders from Trinity East. The students got off and gathered around three buckets of trout. Eventually, they walked to the stream and released the fish that they've taken care of since this past January.

Dumping the trout into the water was a special moment for 11-year-old Madison Galbreth.

"It was really fun," Galbreth said. "We've known them since they were little eggs, and we just seen them grow up, and it was really cool."

Jack Minnick helped to bring the state program to the district about 15 years ago. It's in partnership with Trout Unlimited and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, which provides them with the eggs that they put in a classroom aquarium. Through the months, the kids learn how to raise them.

"Cleaning the tank, checking the levels of nitrogen and things like that, so they're learning all about the ecosystem and clean water," Minnick said.

It was hands-on teaching that led up to this moment, where some older students in the middle and high schools showed the fifth graders how to do things like fly fish, a culmination to the lessons that science teacher Paula Palefsky has been teaching all these months.

"It is bittersweet to see them go," Palefsky said.

The hope is that someday these kids will find a joy for the outdoors and nature.

"The excitement of the children is worth every minute," Palefsky said.

The rest of the students from Trinity involved in the program will be back at Mingo Creek on Friday.

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