A fishy field trip

Cinthia Stimson cinthia@glenrockind.com

As school in Glenrock wraps up for the year, the last few days are final exams, field trips and fun for students and their teachers – but something in the air was a little bit fishy for Sally Down’s sixth grade class recently.
Despite the spring snow that steadily fell over Converse County, Glenrock’s 55 sixth graders were treated to an end-of-year field trip to the Dan Speas Fish Hatchery 15 miles outside of Casper on the morning of May 22.
Speas is a production hatchery – incubating and hatching eggs until the fish are the right size to be released into Wyoming waterways.
During the field trip the kids learned about how the eggs are hatched, fed and raised. For many students, it was the first time they’d seen juvenile fish up close.
Standing and peering into the troughs watching the tiny fish swim around, the kids’ faces showed surprise and delight.
“They’re so adorable,” Aspen Wolfley exclaimed, pointing to the fish.
Maya Kincaid watched the trout from Colorado Lake school up in the water, a more thoughtful expression on her face.
“I think it’s pretty cool how they raise them here, study them, then let them go.”
Game & Fish operates the hatchery, one of 10 in the state. Speas opened in 1959. The hatchery produces up to 300,000 pounds of fish annually, all beginning at the egg stage, with the exception of tiger musky, which are brought into the hatchery from other states. Along with tiger musky, the hatchery raises rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and Kokanee salmon.
The field trip to the hatchery tied in with the students’ recent studies on human interactions with the environment.
“The last couple of weeks we’ve focused on negative impacts, such as pollution in rivers, and then we covered ways to keep our rivers clean. Sixth graders don’t think this necessarily applies to them but it does,” Downs said.
Downs and the class talked about dumping litter, gas and oil, all of which go into the state’s rivers and into the environment, and how they impact all other living things.
Next, students picked up trash in Glenrock. It was a way for them to learn the effects of pollution and to give back to their community.
Downs said she felt that the trip to the hatchery with the students would help them make the connection between their love for fishing and what Game & Fish contributes to the environment.
Most people in Wyoming love hunting and fishing. Teaching students about the different negative and positive impacts they can have on the environment – and still make it fun – is one of Downs’ goals.
“Game & Fish provides positive human impacts. It’s important that the kids see how they’re doing it. They have a real positive impact on the outdoors that we all love,” Downs said. “Most people just go fishing. I don’t think people realize just how much fish Game & Fish put into our streams, lakes and rivers so that we can enjoy them.”
The Dan Speas Fish Hatchery is open to the public seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (307) 473-8890.


Glenrock Independent

Physical Address:506 W. Birch, Glenrock, WY 82637 Mailing Address: PO Box 109, Douglas, WY 82633 Phone: (307) 436-2211

The Glenrock Independent is located in the Bronco Building

Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday - 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday - 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Subscriber Login