TIC at Wabeno Elementary

Trout in the Classroom (TIC) in the News

In late-August / early September the Northwoods Trout Unlimited ( NTU ), Green Bay Trout Unlimited ( GBTU ) and the Nicolet Sportsmens Club sponsored TIC for the 1st and 4th graders at Wabeno Elementary.  As it turns out, all the kids in the Elementary school were influenced by the program because the Trout were centrally located in the library.

GBTU’s Board of Directors passed a vote on September 6th to help sponsor TIC with $500 from our funds dedicated to youth conservation education.

The main person behind the effort was newly hired Great Lakes Stream Restoration Manager in the Northwoods, Laura MacFarland.  Laura had gotten commitments from a couple Wabeno school teachers to use the program to better educate area youth about the trout.  Another goal was to build positive community relationships and knowledge in the watersheds around the North Branch of the Oconto River.

The story was shared on NBC12 on  January 12th and below is the article with a link to the video.

RHINELANDER – When you think of a classroom pet, a goldfish or hamster comes to mind. Wabeno Elementary School has a few unusual class pets.

Ninety trout fingerlings live in the school’s library. In November, the nonprofit organization Trout Unlimited donated eggs to the school. When the students came back from Christmas break, the eggs had hatched.

“They started transforming into the Alevin stage, which was interesting for the kids and for me because I thought eggs and they hatch and little fish came out ,which is not actually what happens, so I learned a lot from that process,” said fourth-grade teacher Sherry Christianson.

When students go to the library, they learn more about the fish and their environment. Some teachers are incorporating the trout into their curriculum.

“We want to restore the stream behind the school so the trout can freely swim up and down it where they can’t right now, so I’ll incorporate it into my science curriculum that way. At school here we can kind of just give them more background on the wildlife right in our own backyard here,” said Christianson.

Every grade has library class, so all students get to see the fish. They enjoy watching the trout grow and develop.

“It was really cool because there were a bunch of little eggs, and then to come back from break and just see these little things swimming around in the tank, it’s kind of funny watching them,” said sixth-grader Zoie Cayan.

Right now the fish are small, but they won’t stay that way.

“I’m very excited to see them grow up because I want to see how big they’ll get in the tank because I know there are a lot of them,” said Cayan.

These trout will be released into a private pond in May. They cannot be released into the wild because of bacteria from the aquarium. Until then, students will keep watching the trout enter each new stage of life.


Thanks for all you do for the coldwater resources of Northeast Wisconsin !