“TROOT in the SHED” (2014)

fry alevin release loch stronsay

Fry release into the Meikle Water, Stronsay (March 2013)

Welcome to “Troot in the Shed” Project 2014

“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. For the new session, starting next January, “Troot in the Shed 2014”  is set to run in the 6 schools which were part of the initiative last year (Dounby Primary, Kirkwall Grammar, North Walls Primary, Stronsay Junior High, Sanday Junior High, St. Andrews Primary) but we also have two newcomers: Stromness Primary and Papdale Halls of Residence, totalling 8 mini-hatcheries.

The “Troot in the Shed” project owes its name to the buildings 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 in schools already or donated by members of the community and local businesses  thus reducing 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

21 Responses to “TROOT in the SHED” (2014)

  1. Mr Pietri says:

    The delivery of trout ova is supposed to start today (22/01) with North Walls Primary at the top of the list! Let’s just hope that the high winds don’t prevent the ferry from making the crossing from the Mainland to Hoy… Next, will be the Sanday School on Monday (27/01), Stronsay Junior High and a newcomer to the project: the Papdale Halls of Residence, both on Wednesday 29th. No firm dates yet for Stromness Primary, also taking part for the first time, St. Andrews Primary, Dounby Primary or Kirkwall Grammar.
    “Troot in the Shed 2014” should be up and running in all 8 schools by the end of next week, weather permitting…
    More news to come shortly 😉
    Mr P.

  2. Mr Pietri says:

    “Troot in the Shed 2014” has started on Hoy with the delivery of about 200 ova yesterday morning. For photos and details, visit this post:
    Mr P.

  3. Mr Pietri says:

    Three more schools have received their eggs today: Stromness Primary, Dounby Primary and Sanday J.H.
    Malcolm Thomson visited Stromness Primary in the morning and Dounby Primary in the afternoon and I delivered the eggs to Sanday J.H; I tried to handle the thermos flask with the precious cargo as cautiously as possible but the flight on-board the Islander plane was very bumpy today and may have caused a few casualties… We’ll soon be able to tell if any eggs have died 😦
    Mr P.

  4. Mr Pietri says:

    There were two more ova deliveries today: first thing this morning, Papdale Halls received eggs for the first time as Mr Cuddihy had shown some interest on this blog last year. For this session, the mini-hatchery will be located in the bike shed but we even discussed the possibility to try and hatch ova in the Hostel’s own little pond… But that’ll be for next year!
    Another 150 or so eggs headed for the Stronsay School, which is involved in Troot in the Shed for the fourth year.
    We’ll keep in touch as the ova develop…
    Mr P.

  5. Annick et Paul PIETRI says:

    As-tu eu des répercussions sur les prises depuis que tu as lancé cette initiative “troot in the shed”?

    • Mr Pietri says:

      Bonjour à vous!
      Non, point de répercussions sur les prises pour l’instant et honnêtement, je ne pense pas qu’une centaine d’alevins déversés ici et là puisse faire la difference. Je crois plus à l’impact à long terme de cette initiative, alors que les jeunes apprennent à découvrir les moeurs des truites farios, leur habitat, et qu’ils partagent leurs connaissances autour d’eux. J’espère aussi qu’une prise de conscience des sources de pollution comme le lisier, les fermes aquacoles ou les excédents d’engrais aidera aussi les truites sauvages à prospérer sur les îles.
      Allez, à bientôt!

  6. james - Stronsay School says:

    Hi Mr Pietri
    just been out to check the troot eggs. there was an unexpected surprise! most of the eggs have hatched! they seem to be alive so far but we wondered if we should remove the ones that haven’t hatched? there is about ten. we thought all this was very strange as the temperature has only been between 5-8 degrees C.
    What should we do?


    • Mr Pietri says:

      Hi James,
      Thanks very much for posting this update! 😉
      That’s great news! I actually received a message from Hoy this morning reporting that hatching had also started over there at the week-end. Last year, the Stronsay eggs started hatching on 18th February so, with the much milder winter we’ve had so far, a week earlier makes perfect sense. There’s no need to do much just yet: if the remaining eggs look dead (white opaque), then, they need to be removed but if they look healthy (light orange with the eyes showing through), they will probably hatch a little later. The mesh grid can be left in the meantime as it provides shelter underneath. Good work guys! 🙂
      Mr P.

  7. Mike Cuddihy says:

    Hello Antoine,

    it was good to get the students here at Papdale Halls of Residence involved in the Troot in the Shed Project this year. Many of the lads especially from the Stronsay School who have been involved there in previous years have embraced it enthusiastically. They have brought their experience to the project and we’ve got off to great start with only four eggs discarded since their arrival from the trout hatchery.
    Indeed the relocation of our mini hatchery from the proposed site to the present site on the advice of the lads was a good idea. We have been able to maintain a constant temperature of just four degrees which the lads feel has been a main factor in the minimal egg loses.

    We’ll keep everyone posted on how the Project is going

    Mike Cuddihy

  8. james - Stronsay School says:

    hi mr pietri
    all eggs have hatched 🙂
    most have gone through mesh, only two or three havent. maybe on wednesday when you’re out they will all be through so you can take it away.

    james and jack

  9. Mr Pietri says:

    To Mr. Cuddihy:
    I’m really glad that the boys are doing a grand job at looking after the mini hatchery. I wasn’t expecting any less! You seem to have found the perfect location for your tank and I’m sure your ova will hatch successfully!

    To James & Jack:
    Well done boys for your dedication! I should be flying to Stronsay tomorrow and will check if the mesh needs to be removed. What is the water quality like?

    Mr P.

  10. Mr Pietri says:

    For a quick summary, here’s the situation in the 7 mini-hatcheries across the county:
    •Stronsay School:all eggs have hatched over the last couple of days.
    •North Walls Community School:eggs started hatching over the week-end.
    •Stromness and Dounby primaries: all eggs hatched last week.
    •St. Andrews Primary: ova started hatching today.
    •Papdale Halls and Sanday haven’t reported any ova hatching as their tanks are probably set up in the coldest locations.

    All the applications for releasing the fry in the burns and lochs have been sent to Marine Scotland and it shouldn’t be too long before we receive the consents.
    Mr P.

  11. Mr Pietri says:

    I’m glad to say that all the release consents from Marine Scotland have arrived through the post over the week-end! The various locations are:
    – The Mill Burn (Stromness Primary)
    -The Burn of Hourston (Dounby Primary)
    – The Burn of Wideford (Papdale Halls of Residence)
    – The Ore Burn (North Walls Community School)
    – The Burn of Quoykea (St. Andrews Primary)
    – Bea Loch (Sanday Community School)
    – Meikle Water (Stronsay Junior High)
    Mr P.

  12. Craig Stout says:

    Thats the Hostel eggs mostly hatched now. Just between 10-20 to go. Very few dead ones so far, everythings looking good so far! 🙂

  13. guy says:

    C’est un beau projet pédagogique, félicitations à tous, enseignant, élèves. Les résultas ne peuvent être que positifs même s’il faudra sans doute attendre un peu avant de voir la population locale de truites augmenter de façon significative. Je vois que la prise de responsabilité des élèves est parfois importante, c’est primordial d’apprendre à apprendre. Amitiés à tous. See you on the blog

  14. Mr Pietri says:

    Merci beaucoup pour vos encouragements Guy! Comme vous l’avez bien perçu, le but de ce projet est principalement une prise de responsabilité et de conscience de l’environnement. En assistant à l’éclosion et au développement d’alevins si sensibles à la pollution et aux écarts de température, les élèves comprennent mieux la fragilité de l’environnement et le besoin le respecter.
    N’oubliez pas de revisiter le blog vers la mi-mars, c’est en principe aux alentours de cette date que nous relâchons les alevins! 😉
    Au plaisir de relire vos commentaires!
    Amitiés à vous,
    Antoine Pietri

  15. Guy says:

    Bjr Antoine. Avant de voir comment s’est déroulée le remise à l’eau des alevins dans leur milieu dans 15 jours / 3 semaines maintenant, je voulais juste savoir comment vous régulez la température de l’eau des aquariums (j’ai vu sur certaines photos que des locaux devaient avoir certainement d’origine une temp. assez basse). Mon anglais ne me permet pas de déchiffer tout le contenu du blog, mais pas mal d’infos sont passées malgré tout … Je pense que vous utilisez également des pompes à air ou un système de bulleur; avez vous mesuré la quantité d’oxygène et sa teneur? Faites vous également attention au ph de l’eau ? Enfin, je terminerai en vous demandant si après les expériences des années précédentes, il y a eu des reprises ? Là c’est un tout autre problème sans doute car le “marquage” est possible mais assez compliqué à mettre en oeuvre et un tel projet pédagogique demande déjà pas mal de moyens financiers sans doute “hors budget” général. Bonne chance pour la suite. en attente des nouvelles de la fin (!) de l’expérience 2014 pour ce qui concerne la remise à l’eau des protégés de tes élèves. Guy

  16. Craig Stout says:

    The casualties have been kept to a minimum, only 3 dead eggs. So far, there has been no dead Alevins. The mesh platform has also been removed. How are the Stronsay ones getting on?

  17. Mr Pietri says:

    Bonsoir Guy! Cela fait plaisir de te relire sur le Blog!
    Une des écoles va relâcher ses alevins cette semaine car l’aquarium se trouvait dans un local un peu plus chaud avec une temperature de l’eau aux alentours des 12˚C. Je suis d’ailleurs un peu surpris que le taux de mortalité soit resté si faible dans de telles conditions. En principe, nous choisissons un local non isolé et sans source de chauffage, comme un garage ou un abri et laissons à Dame Nature le soin de réguler la température de l’aquarium… Dans certains cas nous avons eu recours à des bouteilles d’eau congelée que nous changeons régulièrement. Nous utilisons essentiellement des pompes à eau submesibles avec bullier de manière à bien oxygéner et créer du courant. Nous vérifions de temps en temps le Ph mais pour l’instant, il s’est toujours situé aux alentours de 7, ce qui est parfait. Pour les reprises, aucune idée! Je ne pense pas que les systèmes de marquage existants puissent s’appliquer à des alevins qui mesurent à peine 15mm. Ces poissonnets sont si petits et délicats que l’on ne peut même pas les manipuler à mains nues! Le seul moyen d’évaluer le taux de réussite de nos lâchers serait de choisir une pièce d’eau complétement vierge mais là n’est pas vraiment le but du projet. Par contre, cette année, nous pensons organiser une pêche à l’électricité pour essayer de capturer certaines de nos truites de l’année dernière! Affaire à suivre…

    To Craig:
    Excellent work Craig! How long do you think, before they reabsorb their yolk sacs?
    The Stronsay ones are doing just fine! There’s one deepfreeze less in the shed, so the water stays a bit cooler this year!

  18. Craig Stout says:

    I’m honestly not too sure, they seem to be more sensitive than usual to light and temperature change when I’m replacing the water, but I doubt they are so active the rest of the time, so possibly another 3 weeks at a guess.
    Thats good news about the Stronsay Trout, the hostel temperature is very consistant as there is nothing in the shed to give out heat.

  19. Mr Pietri says:

    Hi Craig,
    Sounds like that shed is perfect for the project! It’s interesting to see that the air pump in your tank seems to work just as well as the water pumps that we use in the other schools. At least, with the air pump, no alevins risk to get sucked up! I think you’re probably right about the 3 weeks: I’m keeping two dozens here outside in a tray and they hatched at bout the same time as yours at the Hostel. Their yolk sacs can keep them going for a good while yet!
    Keep checking water quality and let me know if you need more bottles!
    Mr P.

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