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Students release fish into Carson River

TERI VANCE

C.K. Baily made it sound so easy.

“All you’re doing is taking your cup and turning it upside down,” he instructed. “Then let them do their thing.”

But for the 20 Fritsch Elementary School second-graders, releasing the trout they raised in their classroom into the Carson River on Tuesday proved to be a little more difficult.

“It was pretty sad when we let them go because it’s really hard to say good-bye,” said Nicole Vairo, 8. “You like your friends, and you don’t want to let them go. Fish are like friends.”

However, they understood the necessity.

“They need to spend time in the river so they can have food and hide from other predators,” said Hailey Lepiere, 8.

Jack Miller, 8, added: “They’ll grow bigger and they’ll have a better chance of survival.”

Baily, a member of the Nevada Fly Fishing Club, brought Lori Tureson’s class about 250 Tasmanian rainbow trout eggs in February as part of the Trout in the Classroom program, run by the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

“The cool thing was watching them grow up,” said Katy Breeding, 7. “They grew up really fast, it seems like. First they’re an egg, then they’re really big.”

They met again Tuesday morning to release the fingerlings, one by one, into their natural habitat.

“We congratulate every last one of you for a great raising of your trout in the classroom,” Baily told the students in response to a giant thank-you letter presented to him.

It is a lesson, he said, that will live on with the students even after the project is complete.

“This is, hands down, the best thing we can do for our kids to teach them early to be stewards of the creatures of the land and of the land itself,” he said. “This is starting the basics. They’ll never forget this.”

Contact Teri Vance at tvance@nevadaappeal.com or at 881-1272.