Students in the Eco EDventure program at the Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board’s St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre recently got to see the culmination of their months-long effort to help populate local lakes with fish.
The Eco EDventure program’s lake trout fingerlings were combined with over six hundred fingerlings from the Tartentorous Fish Culture Station for transport to Upper Island Lake to be released. Ryan Mills from the fish culture station and Greg Cull of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests (MNRF) arrived at the St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre to explain the stocking procedure with the students.
The day wrapped up months of very rewarding work that started in October when the program entered into a partnership with the MNRF and the fish culture station. The students received 350 lake trout eggs and began the process of hatching and caring for the alevin.
“It was a great opportunity to watch and raise these fish to fingerlings as well as get exposure to what the Ministry does in this process,” said Eco Edventure student, Jack Duplin.
“This was an amazing and unique opportunity to learn how to hatch and raise fish as well as experience the role that the Ministry plays in the fish-stocking process,” added Grade 11 student, Casey Pelletier.
Over the seven month period the students completed research on the development and stocking process of the fish. They also monitored and maintained the water quality of the tank ph, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels on a regular basis. Weighing the fry every few weeks was also necessary to establish the amount and type of food to feed the fish.
“It was really neat to see them transform from the egg stage to the fish stage,” added Ethan Maione.
The students had the unique opportunity to release their own fish, seeing the process through from egg to stocking. This is an excellent example of the experiential hands-on learning that takes place in the Eco EDventure program.
“This project is a perfect fit for the Eco EDventure Program and the St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre. I am very proud of the effort the students put into this project. They were very studious when it came to including the information the MNRF requested as part of the monitoring process. We hope that we can continue this partnership with the MNRF and Tarentorous Fish Culture Station. It has been a tremendous learning experience,” said Eco EDventure teacher, Greg Sicoly.
Perhaps Grade 11 student Philip Leduc summed it up best, “A really cool experience!”
The initiative which is the first of its kind in Northern Ontario establishes a vital partnership with the MNRF, one that will continue to enrich the programming in the future at St. Kateri Outdoor Learning Centre.