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SRTU member puts his money where his mouth is.

Started by Al, February 22, 2006, 11:12:57 AM

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Dr David Jones, a Martinsville Orthodontist, SRTU member and often outspoken advocate of the Smith River fishery puts his $$$ where his mouth is ......


I am fairly well acquainted with David. We share the same passion and stand shoulder to shoulder in our efforts to improve a great fishery.

Woolly Bugger

That's great news Al. The "Trout in the Classroom" program is a great way to foster an environmental awareness that will last a lifetime.

Here is a link to the TU Program: http://www.tu.org/site/pp.asp?c=7dJEKTNuFmG&b=404755

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!


Congrats to you all at SRTU. All parties involved will benefit from this initiative. Job well done.

"I don't much care for hatchery trout. They're better than no trout at all, but otherwise they're inferior in every way to their wild relatives" - John Gierach


Here is an update on this program. (Press Release received by myself with invite to participate)


Who                    Over 100 students from Martinsville/Henry County and Patrick County, teachers, Trout Unlimited member and local program coordinator Dr. David Jones, John Ross, Chair of Virginia Council of Trout Unlimited, George Duckwall, representing the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Wayne Kirkpatrick, VASOS Certified Stream Monitor/Instructor, and representatives from the Virginia Sportsman Magazine.

What              Over 100 students from Martinsville/Henry County and Patrick County will be stocking the Smith River with brown trout that they've raised from fry in their classrooms over the winter as part of a hugely successful Trout in the Classroom program coordinated by Dr. David Jones.

Where            The Smith River access behind the Bassett Library.

When            The stocking will occur at noon on May 18.  Also, there are seven other releases planned this month for other schools.

Why                Local Trout Unlimited member, Dr. David Jones, upon learning of TU's trout in the classroom project, purchased with his own funds 20 large aquariums and related chillers, filters, oxygenation pumps, water quality measuring kits, etc.   He placed 17 of the aquariums in classrooms in Martinsville and Henry County and Patrick County, one in the Virginia Museum of Natural History, and kept two at home so he could learn about raising trout from fry and then help teachers as they encountered problems.  He arranged to obtain 2,000 brown trout fry from the Va. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, and set up a training program for teachers.  This is the largest program of its type in the country – meaning the greatest concentration of trout in the classroom projects all designed to raise fish for any specific river or stream.  And it's the only one funded exclusively by a single individual.

Martinsville is among Virginia's most severely depressed areas.  Forces for economic development view the Smith River – once among TU's 100 Best Trout Streams in America but now in decline – as an asset that, if restored, would be very attractive to traveling anglers.  Community leaders, with funding from the Harvest Foundation, are spending thousands of dollars to create a blueway/greenway along the river.  Dr. Jones is also involved in this project.

Dr. Jones' initiative not only introduces students of all grades to related concepts in biology, chemistry, and conservation, but it makes them aware of the importance of the Smith River as an environmental asset and helps them learn how a healthy resource can be an economic benefit to the community.  Dr. Jones intends to honor requests he already has to extend this program into Pittsylvania and Franklin Counties in the Fall.  From a number of perspectives, this is a great story.

Contact      Dr. David Jones, Trout Unlimited member and local program coordinator, cell: 276-634-8488, office: 276-638-8888, home: 276-638-1198, davidj8@adelphia.net


Al, that sounds really great!  I am curious, though, how big did the fish get?  Having a hand it restocking the river may make the kids more protective of the resource.  I has to be good, though.  Too many people see a river like that as a storm drain for the town, not as a viable ecosystem and recreational resource.


Quote from: phg on May 16, 2006, 14:21:36 PM

Al, that sounds really great!  I am curious, though, how big did the fish get? 

Good question. I'll let you know at the end of the week. I am heading up tomorrow for some fishing and to take part in the "release" of these fish which will take place at noon by the Bassett Library on Thursday.

Like you said, programs like this will give the young folks a sense of ownership in the efforts to revive the river.


Ok, just got back. Answer to the size questions is about 3 inches. (See photo) Looks like a real good program. Over 2000 trout released by the time school ends this month. This event received lots of coverage, TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. This has got to be good for the community and the river. Here is link to story that ran in the Roanoke Times. http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/xp-65775



Trout In the Classroom Project again in the news.

Pulled this from the July 14th issure of the Martinsville Bulletin.

FYI the SRTU will host Dr Jones and key spokespersons from the local Trout In The Classroom project at our September 7th meeting. Good time for you to learn more and maybe start a similar project with your schools.

Trout success inspires thanks
Bulletin Staff Writer

The Trout in the Classroom program hooked six more believers on Thursday. At its monthly meeting Thursday morning, the Henry County School Board unanimously voted to draft a resolution thanking the program's initiator and funder, Martinsville orthodontist Dr. David Jones.

In January, Jones donated nearly $20,000 to put minnow-filled aquariums into 19 classrooms in Henry and Patrick counties and Martinsville. Students in those classes nurtured the trout from fry (recently hatched fish) to fingerling stages and then released them into the Smith River.

That process provided county teachers with an invaluable teaching tool, said Susan Shea, who teaches seventh-grade life science at Laurel Park Middle School. "The amount of engagement, the amount of learning that went on because of this one project -- you can't measure it,' Shea told the board.

The science instructor said that the 150 or so trout fry in her classroom related to every seventh-grade Standards of Learning (SOL) -- from life cycles to water cycles -- she was charged with teaching.
Even problems that arose in Shea's tanks were turned into lessons, she said. When, for instance, nearly 10 percent of her fish died over a vacation due to lack of light -- her classroom's overhead lamps were not turned on all day -- Shea said she used it as a lesson into how outside influences such as the sun affect a fish's life in the water.

And thanks to her tanks, those lessons reached more students than they otherwise would have. "I had students come in with that sleepy look and all of a sudden they woke up,' she said, adding that the change was due to the fact that "every day they had a visual, every day they had a hands-on' activity.

The same was true with younger students, said Joanna Griffith, a fifth-grade teacher at Rich Acres Elementary School.

With the tanks, "I can cover most every fourth- and fifth-grade SOL and not just in science,' said Griffith. "For a practice writing test, they wrote about the day the fish came."

More than simply energize academics, the Trout in the Classroom program gave county students a vested interest in their community, said Griffith.

"I was able to bring it (conservation) to a local level: This is our river and what we do to it will affect our trout,' she said. "Now that they have a part in our river, I know those children are going to be much more concerned about what they throw out and what their parents throw out."

Students also gave the program glowing reviews to the board.
Jasmine Shea, daughter of Susan Shea, helped her mom's seventh-graders monitor their tank's water quality, testing its ammonia levels, pH and hardness.

"I think it was really good for myself, just being there and helping with everything,' said Shea. "I loved it, and I hope I can help next year.'
Secondary curriculum specialist Donna Hicks is equally excited about continuing the Trout in the Classroom program during the 2006-07 school year.

In addition to giving students more time with the trout -- they will be delivered to classrooms as eggs, not fries, next year -- Hicks said she hopes to get students even more involved with the river.

That task most likely will fall to semi-retired dairy farmer Wayne Kirkpatrick, a Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) volunteer who serves as the organization's water quality monitor. This spring, Kirkpatrick gave lectures to county seventh-graders on benthic macroinvertebrates -- which include snails, crayfish, mayflies and aquatic worms -- that he uses to test the health of local creeks and streams.

Next year, Hicks said Kirkpatrick will bring middle-schoolers into the field and teach them to collect benthic macroinvertebrate samples and use them to monitor local water quality.

The more involved the students are in the local environment, the better, said Kirkpatrick. "We want to instill the kids with a pride of ownership' in the river, he said. "Getting them interested in it will lead to good things -- they will want to take care of it.'