Club combats trout depopulation


Science teacher Nadine Eisekolb places trout eggs in an aquarium as part of a program with the Environmental Club that hopes to end the recent decrease in the trout population. Credit: Sammi Handler/Chronicle

Benjamin Most

The Environmental Club acquired trout eggs through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Classroom Aquarium Education Program.

The club will release the trout into California waterways after the eggs hatch later this year.

In the past 150 years, severe trout depopulation has occurred in California due to overharvesting, urban development and pollution, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Classroom Aquarium Education Program, also known as Trout in the Classroom, combats this depopulation by sending trout eggs to participating elementary, middle and high schools across the state.

Students can watch the eggs hatch and observe the trout develop, and once the trout have grown, they are usually released in a local stream or river.

The school has participated in the program in the past and already had supplies such as a 55-gallon aquarium, co-president of the club, Ben Goldsmith ’16 said. Goldsmith oversaw the project with science teacher Nadine Eisenkolb.

“The tank required significant cleaning, and the chilling unit was no longer operational,” Goldsmith said. “The filtration unit required significant repair as well. Some of the pipes broke and flooded part of the room once.”

Despite these setbacks, the eggs are now safely in their aquarium, and the Environmental Club will decide on a date to release the trout in about a month, Eisenkolb said.