Our Fourth Year of Trout in the Classroom Concludes

The White River Chapter presently sponsors six TIC's in four different school districts and three different counties. Next year we will be adding Andrea Benedict's first grade class in Flippin to our list of participants. We will also have a new teacher overseeing the TIC at the Flippin Middle School. Holly Edwards is retiring and we will have to find a willing teacher to take over the TIC. Thank you Holly for your two years as a TIC supporter.


The 2016-2017 TIC year has concluded with releases of the fish to the Norfork River, Dry Run Creek and a cold water tributary of Crooked Creek.  The releases and related activities were as follows:


April 18 - 75 students in  Shelly Hudspeth's  Norfork 4-6 grades  released their Brown Trout into the Northfork River at the Dry Run Creek Confluence. They also enjoyed a tour of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery.


April 19 & 20- Melva Brannon's Calico Rock 8th and 9th grade science classes released their Rainbow Trout into DRC and enjoyed a Hatchery tour, Macro-invertebrate sampling, trout ID and dissection  and fly fishing on DRC. 70 students enjoyed the experience.


May 11 - Amy Branscum's Norfork H.S. science class released their Brown Trout into DRC, enjoyed a Hatchery tour, trout ID and dissection and macro-invertebrate sampling.


May 12- Stephanie DeMent's Mt. Home 8th grade science classes released their Rainbow Trout  into DRC and enjoyed a Hatchery tour, trout ID and dissection, macro-invertebrate sampling and fly fishing on DRC. On this rainy day Hatchery staff loaned their fly fishing outfits and helped supervise over 50 students on the stream.


Late April- Chapter Member Duane Hada released the Yellville H.S. and Middle School TIC trout into a cold-water tributary of Crooked Creek. Duane fin clipped the fish and hopes to recapture them via fly fishing to report on their well being.


The yearly TIC operation and the year end releases and activities would be impossible without the volunteers and Hatchery staff.  Thanks to the following Chapter volunteers and friends: Bruce Burr, Danny Barker, Vern Berry, Richard Ramsey, Tom Smith, Duane Bell, Joe Salisbury,  Henry Seay, Bob Sinclair, Ron Hulstein, Sara Thorne, Susan Parsons and Tom Emerick. Helpful Hatchery staff throughout the year were Manager Jon Casey, Biologist Trey Anderson, James DisMore, Donnie and Mike. Hatchery Volunteers James Walz and two new husband and wife teams were helpful  with the classrooms and DRC fishing.


The year was not without some difficult lessons. Even though they covered the end of the filter intake with nylon mesh, Mrs. Hudspeth's and Mrs. Edwards TIC's lost trout to the filter. The fry were sucked into the filter through small slits on the intake sides. Their fish were replaced and their intakes were totally encased in mesh. End of problem. Mrs. Branscum's trout experienced an infestation of "Ich" , a protozoan that stressed and ultimately killed them. Hatchery Biologist Trey Anderson was able to microscopicly  examine the trout's  slime coat and make the determination of the presence of "Ich". The contaminated fish were destroyed, the tank was sterilized and some " replacement Brown Trout stocked into the aquarium. This was a bit of a mystery as Mrs. Branscum's TIC tank was always well maintained. We surmised that some of the river water she used as replacement water was contaminated with "Ich" . However, we don't know for certain.


Another year " in the books" and some more lessons learned. We hope to have a TIC seminar at Reynold's Library in August . We want to introduce new teachers and volunteers to TIC via a TU National video and exchange of ideas with experienced TIC teachers.