Several Utah Chapters of Trout Unlimited are partnering with 64 Utah elementary and hign schools, as well as
with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR), to provide guidance, technical assistance and instruction
to Utah students about raising trout from eggs. This is a hands-on, in-classroom learning experience where
students raise trout from fertilized eggs and release them into DWR-approved streams, community ponds or
Beginning in December, teachers set up 55-gallon cold water aquariums in their respective classrooms.
Then, in early January, the DWR provides about 100– 200 fertilized trout eggs to each classroom. The
eggs are delivered to the classrooms by TU volunteers who also assist the teachers with setting
up the equipment, troubleshooting any mechanical issues and providing the students with basic
information about fish husbandry, environmental biology, entomology and fish habitat. Students are
active participants in the project as they help teachers maintain suitable water quality and
temperature, feed the fish, watch them grow and assist with releasing the fish when they grow to
about 2-3 inches in size. During the 2022-23 school year, over 10,000 fish eggs were delivered to Utah classrooms, and in the same year, the program impacted over 4,200 students.
Most classrooms have a success rate of about 60 – 100 surviving fish, which is fantastic. As you might expect,
this kind of success does not come without a lot of hard work at keeping the tanks clean and the water at the
correct temperature and chemical balance. Proper feeding also is a necessity. TU volunteers play an
important role in this process.
All of this effort is well worth it. In most schools, the fish are a topic of interest and pride for the entire
school. Students from other classes, as well as other teachers, occasionally "check in" on the fish to see how
they were doing. This creates a general sense of common purpose and community in the school, as well as
building team spirit and comradery. The teachers report amazing levels of interest and responsiveness from
the students. Not only did the students learn important lessons in biology and fish husbandry, but they
developed a love and excitement for fishing. These students are the future of TU and of conservation efforts to
preserve the resource that we all enjoy.
Going forward, the program's biggest challenge is obtaining funding to acquire the necessary equipment to add
more classrooms. Presently, teacher demand exceeds supply. Each aquarium setup costs approximately
$1,500, and some schools cannot afford this expense, although it is a one-time purchase that can last for many
years if the equipment is properly maintained. Efforts are underway to find individual and corporate sponsors
for the program. As the program continues to be successful, the ultimate goal is to use the classrooms as
mini-hatcheries to help increase the stock of available fish in Utah waterways.
Here is a list of how many TIC projects each TU chapter helps manage (2022 – 2023 school year):
Alpine Anglers – 8 Cache Anglers – 14
High Country Fly Fishers – 6 High Desert – 15
Stonefly Society – 27 Weber Basin Anglers – 8
For more information on any of these activities, you can contact Wes Johnson
If you would like to donate to TU programs, send an email to
Treasurer@TUUtah.org and someone will call you.
Trout Unlimited and all of its chapters are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entities, and your
donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law