Monday, August 12, 2019

Episode 485 (8-12-19): Trout in a Patrick County, Va., Classroom

Click to listen to episode (4:17)

Sections below are the following:
Transcript of Audio
Audio Notes and Acknowledgments
Extra Information
Related Water Radio Episodes
For Virginia Teachers (Relevant SOLs, etc.).

Unless otherwise noted, all Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 8-12-19. 


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of August 12, 2019.  This week, to mark the start of the school year, we repeat a September 2018 episode on a classroom program about aquatic life, water quality, and local watersheds. 

SOUND – ~ 4 sec – Smith River – Jan. 15, 2017

This week, that sound of the Smith River at Jacks Creek Covered Bridge in Patrick County, Va., opens an episode about fish in schools, but in this case, it’s human schools.  Have a listen for about 60 seconds to a guest voice, and see if you know what learning program about finned creatures is taking place.  And here’s a hint: it starts in a classroom and ends up getting students out. 

VOICE - ~60 sec

February 2018: “Now when you guys first received your trout, back in December, what were they?  They were babies, right?  They were actually called ‘eggs’ at that point. … Now at about six months old, they’re about three-to-four inches long, and this is when they are released into the river environments.  For you guys, you 3rd and then the older 6th and 7th [graders], will be releasing your trout.

April 2018: “All right, good morning everyone…. You guys have raised your trout to fingerlings, which is about the third stage of the life cycle, and you are going to release them into the Smith River. ... Do you have any questions about your trout before we release them? I know we’ve already talked about the life cycle and all of that stuff at school. … And we’re gonna walk slowly up the river… So just take it nice and easy, and we’ll walk up and release them.  And when you get over there to release your trout, make sure you lean down close to the river and gently release it into the stream.”

If you guessed, Trout in the Classroom, you’re right!   You heard Krista Hodges, the education manager for the Dan River Basin Association, giving a trout life cycle presentation in February 2018 at Patrick County’s Woolwine Elementary School, and then leading Woolwine students in releasing trout fingerlings into the Smith River in April 2018.  The Association coordinates the Trout in the Classroom program in southern Virginia, while chapters of Trout Unlimited, the organization that began the program, bring it to schools in other parts of Virginia and across the United States.  For over 20 years nationwide and over 10 years in Virginia, the program has helped provide elementary, middle school, and high school students with learning experiences about fish and other aquatic organisms, water quality, and local watersheds.

Thanks to Krista Hodges and to students at Woolwine Elementary School for making the recordings used in this episode, and we let two Woolwine 7th-graders have some closing words about the value of the Trout in the Classroom program.

VOICES - ~ 19 sec

Boy: “It gives you the experience that you see the fish in their actual habitat instead of just in a tank.”

Girl: “I will always think about these fish. I will always think about how good they’re doing, how much they like their new home, and I’ll definitely come back and visit them.”


Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment.  For more Virginia water sounds, music, or information, visit us online at, or call the Water Center at (540) 231-5624.  Thanks to Ben Cosgrove for his version of “Shenandoah” to open and close the show.  In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


The Virginia Water Radio episode repeats and replaces Episode 439, 9-24-18.

The Trout in the Classroom in-school sounds were recorded by Krista Hodges in February 2018 at Woolwine Elementary School in Patrick County, Va.  The trout-release sounds were recorded by Ms. Hodges on April 10, 2018, at the Smith River at Jacks Creek Covered Bridge, also in Patrick County, near the school.  Virginia Water Radio thanks Ms. Hodges and students at Woolwine Elementary School for recording these sounds and allowing their voices to be used in this episode.

Click here if you’d like to hear the full version (2 min./22 sec.) of the “Shenandoah” arrangement/performance by Ben Cosgrove that opens and closes this episode.  More information about Mr. Cosgrove is available online at


The two photos immediately below show Woolwine Elementary School students releasing trout fingerlings into the Smith River in Patrick County, Va., on April 10, 2018.  Photos by Krista Hodges, used with permission.

The three photos immediately below show the three species of trout found in Virginia waters: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout. Brook Trout is the only native species; the other two species are widely established.

Brook Trout.  Photo by Ryan Hagerty, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at, accessed 8-12-19.  The specific URL for this photo is

Brown Trout.  Photo by Robert Pos, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at, accessed 8-12-19.  The specific URL for this photo is

Rainbow Trout.  Photo by Ryan Hagerty, made available for public use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Digital Library, online at, accessed 8-12-19. The specific URL for this photo is


The following information is from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Trout Management Program,” online at

“Trout management in Virginia consists of three basic programs.

“The Catchable Trout Stocking Program (or “Designated Stocked Trout Waters, online at is the best known and most popular.  ‘Designated Stocked Trout Waters’ are stocked from October through May with catchable-sized trout.  See the Trout Stocking Plan (online at for the streams and lakes stocked and their stocking schedule.

“The Wild Trout Program (online at includes the management of reproducing populations of brook, rainbow, and brown trout. Efforts are directed primarily at habitat preservation and proper regulation for protection of spawning stocks.

“The Fingerling Trout Stocking Program (online at involves stocking sublegal trout into waters that have cold summer water temperatures and a good food source.  This is the smallest of the three programs, but includes many of our high quality, special regulation trout fishing waters.”


Used for Audio

Dan River Basin Association, online at  Information on the DRBA Trout in the Classroom program is online (as a PDF) at

Sara Gregory, Tiny trout make a giant leap from classroom tank to Roaring Run, with a little help, Roanoke Times, 4/12/17.

Trout Unlimited, “Trout in the Classroom,” online at

Trout Unlimited Chapters in Virginia, online at

Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited, online at; their “Trout in the Classroom” page is online at

For More Information about Trout in Virginia

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Fish and Wildlife Information Service,” online at

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Trout Fishing Guide,” online at

Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, “Virginia Fishes,” online at This site has links for Brook Trout, Brown Trout, and Rainbow Trout.


All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (  See particularly the “Fish” subject category.

Following are links to other episodes on the Smith River.

Episode 360, 3-20-17 – Who Were Smith and Philpott and What Do They Have to Do with Virginia Water?
Episode 447, 11-19-18 – Discovering Virginia's Covered Bridges for Thanksgiving Week 2018.


This episode may help with the following Virginia 2010 Science SOLs.

Grades K-6 Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic Theme
2.1, 3.1, 4.1, 5.1, and 6.1: Current applications to reinforce science concepts.

Grades K-6 Earth Resources Theme
4.9 – Va. natural resources, including watersheds, water resources, and organisms.
6.9 – public policy decisions related to the environment (including resource management and conservation, land use decision, hazard mitigation, cost/benefit assessments).

Grades K-6 Life Processes Theme
2.4 – life cycles.

Grades K-6 Living Systems Theme
2.5 – living things as part of a system, including habitats.
3.5 – food webs.
3.6 – ecosystems, communities, populations, shared resources.
4.5 – ecosystem interactions and human influences on ecosystem.
6.7 – natural processes and human interactions that affect watershed systems; Va. watersheds, water bodies, and wetlands; health and safety issues; and water monitoring.

Life Science Course
LS.1 – understanding of scientific reasoning, logic, and the nature of science, including current applications to reinforce science concepts.
LS.6 – ecosystem interactions, including the water cycle, other cycles, and energy flow.
LS.8 – community and population interactions, including food webs, niches, symbiotic relationships.
LS.9 – adaptations for particular ecosystems’ biotic and abiotic factors, including characteristics of land, marine, and freshwater environments.
LS.10 – changes over time in ecosystems, communities, and populations, and factors affecting those changes, including climate changes and catastrophic disturbances.
LS.11 – relationships between ecosystem dynamics and human activity.

Biology Course
BIO.1 – current applications to reinforce science concepts.
BIO.2 – water chemistry and its impact on life processes.
BIO.4 – life functions (including metabolism and homeostasis) in different organism groups, including human health, anatomy, and body systems.
BIO.8 – dynamic equilibria and interactions within populations, communities, and ecosystems; including nutrient cycling, succession, effects of natural events and human activities, and analysis of the flora, fauna, and microorganisms of Virginia ecosystems.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at

Following are links to Water Radio episodes (various topics) designed especially for certain K-12 grade levels.

Episode 250, 1-26-15 – on boiling, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 255, 3-2-15 – on density, for 5th and 6th grade.
Episode 282, 9-21-15 – on living vs. non-living, for kindergarten.
Episode 309, 3-28-16 – on temperature regulation in animals, for kindergarten through 12th grade.
Episode 333, 9-12-16 – on dissolved gases, especially dissolved oxygen in aquatic habitats, for 5th grade.
Episode 403, 1-15-18 – on freezing and ice, for kindergarten through 3rd grade.
Episode 404, 1-22-18 – on ice on ponds and lakes, for 4th through 8th grade.
Episode 406, 2-5-18 – on ice on rivers, for middle school.
Episode 407, 2-12-18 – on snow chemistry and physics, for high school.
Episode 483, 7-29-19 – on buoyancy and drag, for middle school and high school.