What’s happening in Rainbow Schools?

Algonquin students release walleye fry into Ramsey Lake

Students and staff from Algonquin Road Public School released thousands of walleye fry into Ramsey Lake the evening of Tuesday, June 28, 2022. The fish spawned in the school’s hatchery from some 72,000 walleye eggs.

The first of its kind in Rainbow District School Board, the Algonquin fish hatchery was established by teacher Darren Foy as a prototype to stock local lakes with native brook trout and walleye.

After a two-year hiatus, teacher Ryan Crouch and Grade 7 and 8 students stepped in. With community support, they’re hoping to bring the hatchery to current standards.

A strong advocate for sustainability, Ryan Crouch believes this is an important learning opportunity for students – with ties to the curriculum from Grades 4 to 8.

“The hatchery connects theory with hands-on experience,” he says. “It teaches students about cell biology and the natural development of fish from egg to fry.”

“We invite students from various classes as often as possible to witness the incubation and development process under a microscope,” says Ryan Crouch. “This provides a visual representation of egg maturity. This practical approach gets students excited about coming to school.”

Each year, Micro-Hatcheries Inc. owner Rolly Frappier works in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources to extract fish eggs, and fertilize, monitor and distribute them to school hatcheries for education and conservation.

Modern hatcheries are considered a version 7, while the hatchery at Algonquin is a version 2. “There is work to be done to revamp the hatchery,” says Ryan Crouch. “This, of course, is contingent on securing funds to update the equipment. We would certainly welcome support.”

Principal Trevor Dewit is thrilled that the hatchery is back in action. “Students welcome the opportunity to learn about science in a fun and exciting way,” he says. “Hatcheries encourage ecological literacy, environmental stewardship, and teamwork and leadership – three of the six pillars for EcoSchools certification.”

He adds: “We are extremely grateful to Ryan Crouch for his work in reviving the hatchery. I also extend a special thanks to Rolly Frappier for his ongoing expertise and guidance.”

If you are interested in supporting the hatchery, please contact Algonquin Road Public School.

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Media Contact:

Trevor Dewit, Principal, Algonquin Road Public School,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-522-3171

Photos:

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The fish hatchery at Algonquin Road Public School is back up and running. Students monitored the development of walleye eggs into fry which were released into Ramsey Lake on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.

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Student Ava Gladu observes the walleye egg under a microscope.

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Student Kai Leinala watches the hatchery in action.

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Algonquin Road Public School Kindergarten student Dawkins Tremblay and his mother Courtney Tremblay released walleye fry from the school’s hatchery into Ramsey Lake on June 28, 2022.

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Algonquin Road Public School students took turns releasing walleye fry from the school’s hatchery into Ramsey Lake including Hayden Clark, right, with onlookers Eliana Crouch, left, and Lee Crouch.

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Ryan Crouch, Grade 7/8 teacher from Algonquin Road Public School, released walleye fry from the school’s hatchery into Ramsey Lake with daughter Eliana Crouch.

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Teacher Ryan Crouch releases the last of the walleye fry into Ramsey Lake.