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Trout in the Classroom DVFF  

Trout in the Classroom

What is Trout in the Classroom?

Trout in the Classroom, now know as the Classroom Aquarium Education Program (CAEP) in California (encompassing Trout in the Classroom, Steelhead in the Classroom, Salmonids in the Classroom, and the Salmon and Trout Education Program) is a relatively simple program and has been a huge success so far. Basically, teachers set up an aquarium and incubate trout eggs in their classroom, under the guidance of a Trout in the Classroom coordinator. Together, they ensure that all of the equipment has been purchased and is assembled by January. The teacher and students are responsible for daily maintenance and observation of the eggs, while the coordinator is responsible for obtaining permits and delivering the eggs. The final result is an aquarium full of trout fry that is released into a pre-approved body of water during a class field trip. Trout in the Classroom is an extremely rewarding program for everybody involved, whether student, teacher, or mentor.
Trout in the Classroom (TIC) programs have been in place all across the country for more than 20 years. In California SIC/TIC was started through the efforts of the Diane Higgins and Dave Armocido in 1989. The program was designed specifically for teachers who want to incorporate more environmental education into their curriculum and need outside help. It gives DVFF members the opportunity to get involved with their local schools, while teaching kids about water quality, aquatic life, and other environmental issues. The program is also supported by Trout Unlimited, with additional info here.

How do I get involved?

There are as many opportunities as there are schools and teachers in your area. Nevertheless, it is extremely important that you find a teacher who is very excited about the idea and will work with you throughout the entire process; the teacher who chooses to undertake this program is the secret to its success. The Diablo Valley Fly Fishers has successfully administered a program for a number of years. They currently have over a dozen classes participating in the program.

What are the requirements for setting up a program?

  • Interested teacher.
  • Permission of school principal.
  • A letter of agreement with the school, including a transportation arrangement for field trips.
  • Attending the required "In-Service" class program held by the California Department of Fish & Game, East Bay Regional Parks and the local fly clubs. Check the CA DFG website for more information.
  • Instructions for teacher to follow in setting up classroom aquarium.
  • Aquarium and other related equipment.

How can I get funding?

Trout in the Classroom projects are partially funded by Diablo Valley Fly Fishers (DVFF). The equipment costs around $360.00 for the "Cool Works Chiller System." Schools will often have small grants available for programs like Trout in the classroom. Other sources of funding include:


  • Local Banks
  • Civic Groups
  • Energy Companies
  • National Fish and Wildlife
  • Parent Teacher Associations
  • Contra Costa County Fish & Wildlife Committee
  • Alameda County Fish & Wildlife Committee

What equipment do we need?


Trout in the Classroom aquarium system starts with a 10 gallon tank and a Cool Works Ice Probe. The outer foam box and added insulation for the aquarium allow the water temperature to be maintained at 48 degrees to 56 degrees.

What permits do I need before I start?

  • Permit from DFG for transporting and having the eggs is required and must be filed out and returned upon release of the fry.
  • Permit for a field trip to the local lake for release and permission to release from the local governing body (EBMUD, East Bay Regional Parks or CA DFG).
DVFF members are encouraged to participate in this program!


Participating Schools:

Bancroft Elementary, Burton Valley Elementary, Canyon School, Charlotte Wood Middle School, College Park High School, Country Club Elementary, Eagle Peak Montessori, Happy Valley Elementary, Hidden Hills Elementary, John Baldwin Elementary, John Muir
Elementary, John Swett Elementary, Marsh Elementary, Mary Case Black Elementary, Montevideo Elementary, Morello Park Elementary, Oakley Elementary, Rio Vista Elementary, Sequoia Middle School, SpringHill Elementary, St. Mary’s Elementary, Sycamore Valley Elementary, and Tassajara Hills Elementary.


For More Information

Lance Connelly, DVFF Trout In the Classroom Liaison