Clyde kids raise trout in the classroom

Pascal Lovell leads the fish fry release at the White Cart Water, Pollok Country Park, with pupils.
Pascal Lovell leads the fish fry release at the White Cart Water, Pollok Country Park, with pupils.

Thousands of school children from across the River Clyde catchment are part of a project to raise and release brown trout into the river system.

‘Clyde in the Classroom’, co-ordinated by the Clyde River Foundation and supported by Crown Estate Scotland, saw hundreds of children from 87 schools descend on the Glasgow Science Centre for the launch, after which the pupils raised the fish in their classrooms before releasing them back into the River Clyde.

And children from New Lanark, Netherburn, Leadhills and Blackwood Primary Schools were right at the forefront of involvement in this worthwhile and important conservation project.

Each week, classes looked forward to the regular visit from a Clyde River Foundation scientist, who checked on the pupils’ progress, and ensured that the classroom hatcheries were being kept at similar temperatures and the general conditions found in a Scottish river.

The project, which began in 2001, has encouraged more than 26,000 pupils from 1000 classes to connect with nature and to understand the importance of the local environment.

Fiona Simpson at Crown Estate Scotland said: “We are a keen supporter of projects like this, with our responsibility for management of salmon angling rights – which includes a major part of the Clyde catchment.

“‘Clyde in the Classroom’ provides learning opportunities across the curriculum as pupils monitor fish development, calculate what they need to keep them healthy and write up their experiences.

“Having the responsibility of caring for the fish inspires an interest in nature and the environment.”

From raising eggs and hatchlings from January through to releasing the trout this month, pupils created poetry and prose, artwork, songs, plays, films and presentations to share what they have learned.

Dr William Yeomans, Catchment Manager for the Clyde River Foundation said: “The foundation wants to help safeguard our world-famous river, and ‘Clyde in the Classroom’ is the best tool we have for engaging and enthusing large numbers of our future environmental stewards.”