Bishop McCort Catholic High School

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Students Release Brook Trout for the 6th Year in a Row

The Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team and Mountain Laurel Trout Unlimited partnered with the Bishop McCort to implement this program in the Freshmen Academic and Honors Biology classes, and will help release the fingerlings into the Bens Creek (Somerset County).  This will be the end of a year-long adventure for the students, who have been raising the trout from eggs as part of the TIC program. Along with the release of the trout, students will also be participating in activities led by the Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team, PA Fish & Boat Commission, PA Department of Environmental Protection, Mountain Laurel Trout Unlimited, Somerset Conservation District, and St. Francis University.


TIC is an interdisciplinary program that introduces coldwater conservation education in Pennsylvania schools by raising brook trout, a native coldwater species, from eggs to fingerlings. Throughout the school year, the students monitored and recorded aquarium water quality and trout behavior. The program exists statewide due to a partnership between the Pennsylvania Council of Trout Unlimited (PATU) and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC), with the support of Pennsylvania Department of Education. Bishop McCort students cared for the trout on a daily basis, while their teacher, Mr. Cotchen incorporated coldwater education lessons into the classroom. The Kiski-Conemaugh Stream Team and Mountain Laurel Trout are program partners that assist the class by providing classroom assistance and helping to engage students in coldwater conservation.  The program is designed to foster awareness and knowledge about coldwater conservation in grades 3-12 and to encourage continued participation in coldwater conservation, management, and recreation programs.


The project was financed in part by a TIC existing grant awarded to Bishop McCort from PATU.  Seward Generation LLC (through Al Metzler father of Eric Metzler ‘10) provided additional funding for the release day and equipment.