*This content was produced prior to the issuance of CDC guidelines recommending social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On a chilly day in early March, dozens of Oklahoma high school students took their conservation project from a Catoosa classroom to the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tenkiller.
They released dozens of small rainbow trout into the lake and cheered as the tiny fish darted away into the cold water.
“For these fish to survive, the water has to be at a certain level that’s not dirty but livable for these animals,” said student Skylar Waters.
The students are participants in a Williams-supported program called Trout in the Classroom. They raise the fish from eggs in classroom tanks.
“This is a conservation program about water quality. If you don’t have good, clean, cold water, trout don’t survive well in it,” said Scott Hood, a youth and education coordinator for Trout Unlimited.
Science teacher Diana Nunes said the students learn something from this project that books alone can’t teach.
“That’s really key,” she said. “When you raise something and you have to watch it go on its way, you want to make sure the environment it is in is a safe environment.”