Jackson Hole students adopt tag-implanted trout

Jackson Hole News & Guide –

The students circled round the “watershed trailer.” Some sifted distractedly through the sand and others watched intently as a makeshift river gushed past miniature plastic frogs and otters through the mock riparian ecosystem.

The display, set up at the Jackson National Fish Hatchery on June 3, was part of the field trip that capped a school year spent studying the aquatic environments of Jackson Hole and their inhabitants. So Wyoming Game and Fish fisheries technician Max Lewis asked the 12- and 13-year-olds to reflect on why they had devoted so much time to the subject.

“’Cause they made us,” one astute boy observed.

It was the response you might expect of a seventh grader, especially with the middle-school equivalent of senioritis setting in just days before summer.

After two field days and five classroom sessions, though, most of the 225 or so students seem to have genuinely enjoyed learning about the life cycle of trout, the danger of invasive species and much more — even if the fly-fishing lesson was a near-unanimous favorite.

“Usually school is really boring,” Andrew Hanna, 13, said with a grin. “But this is really cool and hands-on, especially because it relates back to Jackson. I see this stuff every day.”

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