FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I get answers to specific technical questions or problems?


Please visit the Technical Information and/or Troubleshooting sections of this website.


What is the timeline for raising trout in a classroom?


The general timeline for TIC in New York is that classrooms set up coldwater tanks in September, get brown or brook trout eggs in October or November, and raise the trout over the school year. The fingerlings are then released in the spring, into appropriate streams and rivers. It is important to note that each state works on a slightly different timeline; it depends on local climate and the species of trout you raise. (top)


What type of trout do classes raise?


In New York, classes raise brown trout and brook trout.  Many factors affect the type of trout a class can raise. Different states have different native species, as well as different regulations as to what is permitted. To find out what is available to you, check with your state’s fisheries department or with your local chapter of TU.   (top)


What kind of equipment  is needed?


The tank set-up includes a UV sterilizer, filter, pump, aeration device, and a chiller.  Then, many other smaller items for tank maintenance are also required. We provide a full list of suggestions from which to work. Keeping this equipment clean is important and easy to do at the end of each year. (top)


Where is equipment available?


Most of the equipment is available at aquarium stores and pet stores.  While the chiller is not a common item, many aquarium stores and websites carry an appropriate model. (top)


How much does TIC cost to do?


TIC has a large initial cost, but then maintenance is very inexpensive.  The chiller is the most expensive item on the list, amounting to more than half the total of the $800 - $1300 needed for a set-up. (top)


What care do trout require?


Preparing for and maintaining a trout tank is a fairly straightforward process.  The tank must be up and running about thirty days before the trout eggs can be placed into the tank. Then, once the eggs are in, maintenance is simply a matter of making sure that all the different pieces of equipment are working properly. Daily monitoring of nitrogen levels and pH indicates when water should be changed.  A full daily checklist is available in the Teachers section.  (top)


Do you feed the trout?


Most programs do feed their trout, once the alevins have used up their yolk sacs and risen from the hatching basket.  The key to raising trout is feeding them as little as possible, because feeding creates waste. It becomes harder to maintain a clean environment for the trout. A feeding guide is available. (top)


Where is food available?


Most New York teachers can get trout food from New York’s TIC coordinator, Rochelle Gandour. The amount of food needed is very small, and some hatcheries are willing to give a classroom the portion of food they would need. (top)


Do the trout have to be fed?


Some programs successfully raise trout without feeding them. The key is maintaining a low water temperature, which slows growth. Contact us for more information about this method. (top)


When is a good time to begin planning my TIC program?


Ideally, teachers and chapters begin planning TIC (securing funding, finding equipment) anywhere from 3-12 months before the TIC school year begins.  A tank must be fully set up at least one month in advance of getting eggs. (top)


Where is funding available for TIC?


Sources of funding abound.  First of all, PTAs (and sometimes school boards) are often eager and willing to help establish such an engaging school project. Local businesses, especially outdoor sports or angling businesses, might sponsor a school or two in their towns. State and local environmental agencies can usually offer support, in one form or another, through their education departments. Finally, foundations, conservancies, environmental organizations, and local watershed associations are often looking for innovative projects (such as TIC) to fund.  Start by looking at our Potential Funders page. (top)


Does Trout Unlimited (TU) fund TIC set-ups?


At this time, Trout Unlimited's national office does not directly provide funding for tank set-ups.  Funding for set-ups may be available through teachers' local chapters of TU.  Chapters are encouraged to raise funds for TIC through regular chapter fundraising as well as the Embrace-A-Stream grant program. (top)


How are chapters of TU involved?


Local TU volunteers can help a teacher navigate permits and licenses, secure eggs and food, help set up and maintain equipment, provide guest speakers in classes about all sorts of topics, and help on stream study and release field trips.  If the chapter is doing a stream restoration project, the site could be a great field trip location for students. Some chapters also do have funds available to support at least part of a set-up. See website comments from this Q&A with John Genovesi of the Croton Watershed Chapter in New York for more details about chapter involvement in TIC. (top)


Who do I contact for more information?


Lilli Genovesi is New York’s TIC Coordinator.  Rochelle Gandour is able to provide support to teachers and volunteers from other states. Teachers may want to contact their local chapter of TU directly, to see if that chapter already sponsors other classes in the area. (top)

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