Aquatic Resources Education Association
MODEL PROGRAM

 

Title of Presentation: Yellow Perch Hatch, Raise and Release Project

Author: Cindy Boyle, Outdoor Educator, Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center, Anne Arundel County Public Schools, 975 Indian Landing Road, Millersville, Maryland 21108. 410-222-3822. cindy_boyle@hotmail.com.

Presenters: Cindy Boyle, Outdoor Educator, Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center

A/V Needs: overhead screen, electrical outlet.

Abstract: The Yellow Perch Hatch, Raise and Release Project is an outreach program of Anne Arundel County Public Schools through Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. The program supports MSPAP and Student Service Learning. Students collect yellow perch eggs, hatch and raise them in specialized aquariums in their classrooms and eventually release them into local streams. The Outdoor Education Program provides training and support for the schools.

A grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Aquatic Resources Education Program supports the project. The grant covers substitutes for a fall in-service, a spring egg collection date, and money for replacement materials/equipment to keep the aquaculture systems operative. The fall in-service prepares participants for the upcoming project year. Students assemble and prepare tanks for the spring collection. Egg strands are collected in early to mid-March. The fish are raised in the classroom and as the fish grow, students are responsible for daily feeding, for monitoring water quality and documenting growth. Students collect data, organize information and use critical thinking skills to problem solve issues/concerns related to the raising process. By June, some of the 1-2 inch yellow perch are released in local streams. Remaining fish are transferred to a larger aquaculture system at Arlington Echo Outdoor Education Center. These perch continue to grow (8-10 inches), at which time they are tagged, in cooperation with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources biologists, and released into the Severn River.