By Molly Rosenblatt

FARMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — Tuesday was the perfect day for some St. Paul students to take their class outdoors.

The middle schoolers have been raising trout as part of a water shed program run by Minnesota Trout Unlimited and the DNR.

A group of Hazel Park Prep Academy middle schoolers are wrapping up a five month lesson at the Vermillion River.

All of this began as eggs, delivered in a special cold water aquarium to their classroom.

The students raised and studied them while they grew.

“Some of them are really pumped about it. I mean it’s a pretty cool deal, they’ve been working since December to raise these fish. They’ve been working through summit projects and some of the other stuff that we do in the classroom,” Benji Kohn of Minnesota Trout Unlimited said.

The culmination: A warm sunny day in Farmington, to release their young trout into the Vermillion.

“It’s like raising kids, once you do enough work, they’ll learn how to live on their own,” seventh grader Lor Thao said.

Aside from learning about raising trout, the DNR taught the students about survival needs once they’re released into the water.

“The important thing is the reason that it’s cold is because of ground water, trout need ground water and it keeps the water cold in the summertime and warm enough in the winter,” a DNR officer said.

And one last essential survival lesson for the kids.

“You guys ever get bit by a mosquito? Bugs, right? Trout eat — a lot of trout, especially these small ones, eat bugs,” the officer said.

As they send their “kids” off into the wild.

middle school student releases trout into vermillion river St. Paul Students Release Trout Raised In Classroom

(credit: CBS)

“They had a home in our school, but it wasn’t like a warm feeling where they can swim around and everything, but now they have a home to like go places and journey and have adventures and everything,” Isis Dickerson said.

Hazel Park Prep Academy was one of 18 schools across the state that took part in that DNR program.


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