“TROOT in the SHED” (2011)

A day out on Kirbister Loch with the pupils and volunteers from the Orkney Trout Fishing Association (June 2010)

Welcome to “Troot in the Shed” Project 2011


“Troot in the Shed” aims at making pupils aware of the Brown Trout and Sea-Trout life cycles through presentations and hands-on activities – the highlight of the initiative being hatching trout ova (provided by the local fishing association) on the school ground and monitoring the experiment on a daily basis to record the various stages from egg to alevin and fingerling. The two projects are currently run in the two Orkney Islands schools of Stronsay and North Walls on Hoy.


The “Troot in the Shed” project owes its name to the building where the trout are hatched… There is an already existing initiative across the country called “Trout in the Classroom” but it requires an extensive set-up including a cooled tank costing in excess of £1,000 which wasn’t an option. We have managed here to hatch these trout using very basic materials either already in the schools or donated by teachers (Thank you Mr. Richards!) thus reducing the cost to a minimum.


Please, feel free to leave a comment below or in any of the other posts (type your message in the box and click on “Say it” to send; you don’t need to fill in the URL box and it might take a few hours for your comment to appear).
Thanks for your visit.
Mr. Pietri

20 Responses to “TROOT in the SHED” (2011)

  1. Mr Pietri
    Congratulations and well done to all involved in this fantastic project. Glad we at the OTFA could help with the front page link your well designed site deserves as many viewers as possible. Keep up the good work “I’ll be back”

  2. Mr Pietri says:

    Thank you very much for your help Jim! It’s fine to see the Orkney Trout Fishing Association and schools working together again. We’re very proud to see our link on the front page of such a fantastic site!
    Hope we get lots of visitors on this blog to have a look at what our young people managed to achieve.

  3. Annick et Paul (France) says:

    Les résultats de ces éclosions nous font plaisir. Combien d’alevins survivront? Sont-ils aussi rustiques que ceux qui éclosent en ruisseau?
    Nous suivons avec intérêt ces expériences qui doivent, sans aucun doute, intéresser les enfants. Qu’ils aiment la pêche, ou tout simplement la nature.


  4. Mr Pietri says:

    Merci de votre petit message! Je ne m’etais pas penche sur la question de la rusticite des alevins d’ecloserie et en fait je n’ai pas de reponse! Cependant, le taux d’eclosion sur environ 140 oeufs a ete de 125 a peu pres a Stronsay. C’est probablement le double voire le triple du nombre d’alevins qui auraient eclos a l’etat sauvage. Donc, meme s’ils sont un peu plus faibles, ils ont l’avantage du nombre!
    Le moment de relacher les alevins dans leur etat naturel approche a grands pas et nous posterons quelques photos a cette occasion.
    A bientot!

  5. Mrs Barber says:

    Congratulations on the hatching of the babies! Looking forward to my tour around the Stronsay set up this week. Mrs Barber

    • Mr Pietri says:

      Thank you for your comment Mrs Barber!
      The “babies” are doing great and are looking more and more like “peedie troot”! They’re turning darker and their yolk sac is shrinking. You will see some difference with them!
      Come back on our blog to see the latest updates. There will be a new post very shortly.

  6. Mike Cuddihy says:

    Mr Pietri I was pleased to have been able to see the “Troot in the Shed” project myself whilst out visiting the Stronsay School on business recently. I was amazed at just how well the children have done with their project given the limited equipment they have at their disposal. The fact that they tend the troot so diligently on a daily basis speaks volumes for their commitment and it is heartening to hear of such a limited mortality rate amongst the baby troot. Indeed the students are to be congratulated. No doubt they will all, in the fullness of time turn into fine anglers and environmentalists themselves. Well done Stronsay School!

  7. Mr Pietri says:

    Mr. Cuddihy, thank you for taking the time to give us such encouraging feedback on our project. Some of the words you used such as “limited equipment”, “diligently” and “commitment” can, in my opinion sum up our whole project: it just shows that, even with a very limited amount of equipment, dedication and enthusiasm can take you a long way. Back in November 2009 I was given a quote for a “proper” Trout in the Classroom kit which amounted to £1000.00 while the set-up we’ve used consists of an old fish tank which was lying in the school shed, a pump bought online on an auction site for £10.00, a small sheet of windbreak mesh stapled on a wooden frame, some gravel from the beach and water from the burn! But most importantly, what made the project so successful is the way some of our pupils embraced the initiative, showed pride and took ownership for the project.
    Bringing over 90% brown trout eggs to the stage of fry is no mean feat and a testimony to the pupils painstaking work.
    Hope to see you shortly on our blog Mr. Cuddihy!

  8. Susan Robertson (Head Teacher - Stronsay Junior High) says:

    Well done to all of you, I took visitors from Kirkwall Grammar School and the Hostel out to see the trout the other evening when they were in Stronsay and they were all very impressed. I know that you have all taken your responsibility for looking after them very seriously and this is to be commended. Looking forward to watching them grow!

  9. Neil Ewing says:

    Well done Antoine and all the pupils of Hoy and Stronsay. Fantastic blog with loads of interesting info and images. The amount of detail is impressive and a real cross curricular project.

  10. Mr Pietri says:

    Mrs. Robertson and Mr. Ewing, thank you for showing interest in our blog. The project indeed, lends itself very well to CfE and could constitute the focus of a multi-disciplinary workshop.
    This “Troot in the Shed 2011” really was a trial to see how feasable it would be to successfully hatch the eggs with limited equipment. Now, we can easily build up on the experience and plan for an even better “Troot in the Shed 2012”!

  11. Billy Robetson says:

    Great project must be time for releasing them soon, what size are they now? What do you feed them on? Many thanks Billy Robertson

  12. Mr Pietri says:

    Hi Billy!
    Yes, it’s nearly time for releasing the Stronsay alevins as they have almost reabsorbed their yolk-sacs – actually we’re planning to do this the week coming (and will update the blog accordingly). The alevins from Hoy still have a fairly sizeable yolk-sac as the water was 2 degrees colder and they hatched a week later. We won’t be feeding them as this would mean a much more sophisticated filtration system. Maybe something to think about for next year? As far as size is concerned they are 15-20mm long.
    Thanks for visiting our blog Billy and … Tight Lines for Tuesday!

  13. Heddle says:

    Are there any other Orkney schools looking for modest sponsorship for a similar project with trout

  14. Mr Pietri says:

    Thank you very much for your kind offer. At the moment North Walls & Stronsay are the only two schools running the project but I would like to see the programme extended to other schools. A couple of headteachers have expressed some interest for next year and there should soon be a slot on Radio Orkney covering the release of our alevins on Hoy. Maybe, the publicity will prompt other schools to voice their interest too? Is it ok if I email you as soon as I know more about it?
    Kind regards,
    Antoine Pietri

  15. Neil Ewing says:

    Great to see permission has been given to release trout Antoine. I’d certainly be interested in getting KGS involved for next year.

  16. Ken Kennedy says:

    Hi Antoine,
    Congratulations to you and your pupils in Hoy and Stronsay on the success of your project, what a result! It is certainly generating a lot of interest in our local brown trout where it matters. The OTFA would certainly support any similar projects in the future with the supply of eggs etc. As a matter of interest, all the eggs in the OTFA hatchery at Kirbister have now also hatched and shall be distibuted in some of the smaller lochs on the Mainland and North Isles in due course,
    Cheers, Ken

  17. Mr Pietri says:

    Good to hear from you Ken!
    Thank you for supporting our project. Today the Stronsay bairns have been releasing the alevins in Meikle Water – but we have to admit that a small disaster happened over the week-end as 67 of our peedie troot died… Sudden increase in water temperature may have caused it. Tomorrow, it’s up to the Hoy bairns to release theirs in the Ore Burn. We’ll post updates on this blog in the next few days.
    Glad to hear the hatchery has been successful (I couldn’t help but have a peedie peep last Thursday and there were a lot of hatched eggs already).

  18. Malcolm Thomson says:

    Hi everyone – heard the piece on Radio Orkney this morning, excellent. Sounds like the project has been a big success and lots of fun for the children (and teachers)! Hope you can do it again next year. Good luck to all the peedie troot, hope we can see some of them again soon….

  19. heddle says:

    did you get anywhere with the seatrout in the burn in birsay.I noticed a few when up on holiday recently
    Bob Heddle

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