WEST LIBERTY – On Thursday, May 12, West Liberty-Salem FFA and high school science students hosted a trout release in the WL-S Land Lab. Elementary students released brown trout fingerlings into the Mac-O-Chee ditch, a tributary of the Mad River. Brown trout have been raised since November 2015 by WL-S FFA students with assistance from a grant and the Madmen Chapter of Trout Unlimited. Students observed brown trout from egg to fingerling (minnow size) in a large tank attached to a chiller and pump that mimicked the cold swift moving Mad River water.
During the release, WL-S graduate and current Hocking College Wildlife Resource Management major Seth McNutt gave students a fresh water ecology lesson that focused on the Mad River and the brown trout. Trout Unlimited Madmen Chapter member Joe Nagel provided students with a fly fishing demonstration.
Also, elementary students got a first-hand chance to learn about recreation on the Mad River with high school students educating about boater safety, types of boats and equipment. Students practiced these tips on the safety of land. Elementary students also took guided tours through the land lab with focus on the Mac-O-Chee tributary and the flora surrounding it.