“TROOT in the SHED” (2013)

Welcome to “Troot in the Shed” Project 2013

“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. This year the project is set to run in 6 schools in the Orkney Islands (Dounby Primary, Kirkwall Grammar, North Walls, Stronsay Junior High, Sanday Junior High and St. Andrews Primary).
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 in schools already or donated by members of the community and local businesses (thank you Peedie Pawz Pet Shop in Kirkwall for the pumps!), 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

40 Responses to “TROOT in the SHED” (2013)

  1. Mr. Pietri says:

    Arrangements are currently being made to get TROOT in the SHED 2013 started during the 3rd week in January 2013.
    Come back and see us then!

    Mr. Pietri

  2. neil ewing says:

    Thats pump and tank set up at KGS. Collecting the eggs on Saturday or Sunday. Key date last year was 17/2 when eggs hatched. It will be interesting to see what date it will be this year.

    • Mr Pietri says:

      Excellent news Neil! As far as the other schools are concerned, Jim has been to Hoy today to deliver the eggs to North Walls and was welcome by a very keen and helpful bunch of bairns! There were a few casualties amongst the eggs, probably due to a rather bumpy trip on the ferry!
      Sanday Junior High are getting their ova on Tuesday, as well as St. Andrews Primary, and Stronsay Junior High should be up and running by Thursday. A date still has to be finalised for the egg delivery to Dounby Primary.

  3. Neil McIntosh says:

    That’s everything ready here at St Andrews. Sandy will be coming past on Tuesday afternoon to set up the eggs and get the whole process underway.
    P7 are really looking forward to their involvement in the project.

    Mr McIntosh

  4. Kristen Muir says:

    Looking forward to Tuesday, Mr Pietri. All the current P5-7 pupils were involved last year so they are hoping their skills will be up to scratch again this year…time will tell 😉

  5. Mr Pietri says:

    Hi Mr. McIntosh and Mrs. Muir,
    I can’t wait to see all schools under way either!
    I hope the bad weather doesn’t cause any problems with transport…


  6. Mr Pietri says:

    Well… The bad weather did cause problems this morning and the snow came – not a lot but enough to make me wonder whether the plane to Sanday would be flying! I didn’t want to risk taking the eggs to the airport and getting there to be told the plane was cancelled!
    In fact, the plane managed to land on Sanday, between two snow storms!
    I’ll be taking the eggs into schools next week.
    Hope the St. Andrews school managed to get their eggs today!

  7. Mr Pietri says:

    That’s St.Andrews Primary up and running! Thank you Sandy for braving the winter weather and delivering the presentation and the eggs!

  8. Neil McIntosh says:

    Yes thank you Sandy. The pupils really enjoyed the presentation and had some really focussed questions about the work we will be expected to cover.
    The eggs are settled and apart from a few, most look healthy. I think we have about 12 dead eggs but this could easily be from the trip from the hatchery.

    Both Mr Mc, Conrad (our janitor) and pupils are raring to go on this venture.
    Thanks to all involved so far and Mr P for his regular checks.

  9. Craig (Stronsay School) says:

    The stronsay ovum are now in the tank after Mr Pietri took them on the plane this morning. We have removed two dead eggs this afternoon but apart from that, all is well.

  10. Malcolm Thomson says:

    That’s P5/6 at Dounby under way now with a tank full of eggs. One dead egg on delivery, looking forward to updates through this week. Good luck!

  11. Mr Pietri says:

    Thank you very much for the update Malcolm and great achievement to end up with only one casualty during transport! It would be interesting to know how the eggs have fared through the week-end.
    As Craig put it above, Stronsay received their eggs on Thursday with minimal loss during transport: we were extra careful when transferring the eggs into the tank and first, poured the eggs in a plastic pocket, tied a knot and let it float in the tank for a while before eventually releasing the eggs. We tried to minimize the thermal shock and it looks as if it’s worked!
    I also heard from North Walls and was told that they hadn’t lost one single egg during the first week!
    Just one more school to go: Sanday should be getting their ova tomorrow morning unless the plane breaks down!

  12. Mr Pietri says:

    Hi folks,
    The ova have just been transferred into the tank at the Sanday school about an hour ago. Only one casualty so far thanks to a very smooth landing by our Loganair pilot, Colin! 😉

  13. Our blog at http://trootinthecupboard.wordpress.com/ will track the progress of the Dounby Community School eggs. So far we have just two dead eggs, one on delivery and one on Monday. We have a much colder place and a bigger tank with much better water flow. Hopefully this year we will raise some fry for release.

  14. Craig (Stronsay School) says:

    Hi, everything is going well in Stronsay so far. There have been approx. 6 dead ovum but nothing drastic. The water is being replaced regularly and the water temperature is usually around 7-9 degrees.

  15. Aimee (Sanday School) says:

    hi, i love doing troot in the shed and i cant wait until our team is next!
    thank you Mr Peitri for making it possible!
    love watching the peedie Alevins grow and look forward to watching them set of through their life cycle! bye for now! Aimee x

  16. Ethan Rotman says:

    This looks great! Please feel free to visit us at http://www.classroomaquarium.org and http://classroomaquarium.wordpress.com/ as we have a ton of material that you may find to be helpful. If you give me a mailing address, I have some cool posters I will send your group. You can view them on the webpage and see if they are of interest to you. They are on California Rainbow Trout but I sense our fish are not a whole lot different from yours….

    Ethan Rotman – Trout in the Classroom Coordinator, San Francisco Bay Area, California Department of Wildlife

  17. Mr Pietri says:

    Thank you very much for the kind offer Ethan! I have indeed, seen your great posters on your blog. You’re quite right about the similarities between our fish: California Rainbow Trout or Scottish Brown Trout, Steelhead or Sea run Brown Trout… They certainly seem to share the same life cycle and raise the same amount of interest !
    Antoine Pietri

  18. Malcolm Thomson says:

    Hi Folks, All seems well at Dounby, only two dead eggs so far (one in transit). They have counted 58 live eggs – looks like I was a bit mean compared to some of the other schools! Sure it will be lively enough in the tank though when they hatch. Not long to go!

  19. Neil McIntosh says:

    That’s it!! St Andrews have hatched! We had 2 hatched on Monday 4th Feb but this morning over the inservice weekend all eggs have hatched and the remaining 6 dead eggs have been removed.
    We took the frame mesh out this afternoon and reset the pump so’s not to trap and suck up any keen alevins! Now settled it’s very difficult to spot how many alevins we have but those we see are healthy and quite frisky!
    We’ll keep you posted on our progress. I was amazed at how quick it has all happened. I hope that’s not a bad sign?

  20. Craig (Stronsay School) says:

    Everything is going OK in stronsay, we had 5 dead eggs over the holidays but nothing to drastic.

  21. Neil Ewing says:

    Everything going well at KGS – no sign of hatching yet but I think it was on the 16th last year that we discovered a tank full of foam!! As we had problems with Alevins getting sucked up into pump we have much less powerful one this year so hopefully no problems. Usually one or two dead each day but thats the same as last year. Good to see St Andrews have hatched!

  22. Mr Pietri says:

    Hello Neil Mc!
    Thanks for letting us know! If they started hatching on 4/02, that’s maybe a bit early but as long as the water quality is good, there should be no problem. The reason why they hatched earlier is probably because of a slightly warmer water temperature in your shed. Even a difference of just +2˚C over a period of a month mean that the alevins will hatch 6 or 7 days earlier. It’s all got to do with ATUs (Accumulated Temperature Units). You can have a look at a previous post explaining the process by clicking on this link:
    Thank you Craig for keeping us in the loop; 5 dead eggs is nothing to worry about and it shouldn’t be long before the little guys come out of the shell! Last year, they hatched around Valentine’s day if I remember well. Get the underwater camera ready!!!
    Hi Neil E,
    I’m sure that with the smaller pump, the alevins should be safe this year! Shouldn’t be long now.
    If you could email me new photos folks, I could add a few posts relating directly to your schools.
    Happy hatching!

  23. Neil Ewing says:

    Well thats us – eggs have started hatching at KGS – about half so far -no sign of the foam that we had last year. Maybe smaller pump has something to do with that. I’ve put fine wire mesh around intake of pump to prevent alevins going or being sucked inside pump which led to disaster last year!!!

  24. Adele, Andrew & Molly (North Walls) says:

    When we got the eggs on the 17th January, 45 had not survived the boat journey.
    Since we have had them only 10 have died.
    Yesterday we took 4 eggs in to the classroom to examine them with a microscope that connects to the computer.
    After lunch we saw that one had hatched!
    Today when we went out to check on the eggs the other 3 had hatched!
    Bye for now, we will keep you updated.

  25. Mr Pietri says:

    Hello Adele, Andrew & Molly,
    It’s great to hear from you guys at North Walls! I did hear that the eggs had had a pretty rough trip on the ferry in January right enough…
    It’s really good you had a look at some eggs through a microscope! Did you find out anything interesting? Did you manage to take some screenshots from the computer? If you have pictures, pass them on to Sarah and she’ll send them to me.
    By the way, you can have a look at the post about North Walls – you’ll find it on the right hand-side of this page under “Recent Posts” or else you can click on: https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/or/TrootintheShed/2013/01/22/troot-in-the-shed-2013-kickstarts-at-north-walls/
    Thanks again for the update!
    Mr. Pietri

  26. Craig (Stronsay School) says:

    The Stronsay eggs have started to hatch now. About 20 so far.

  27. Mr Pietri says:

    Great news! Thanks for the update Craig. I wish I could see it for myself but I’m stuck at Kirkwall airport just now. Hope the fog clears quickly so that I can make it to Stronsay!!!

  28. Neil McIntosh says:

    Disaster in St Andrews!
    After checking the tank on Friday with everything fine, alevins swimming around, we checked this morning and everything was dead! A white milky liquid covers everything in the tank and when we drained some of the water out to try and search for survivors we find no living creatures in the tank.
    Very disappointing for us as we had thought everything was going so well. The only thing that I think can have happened is that it was quite a warm day on Sunday (according to locals) and with the shed being hit by the sun for most of the day the temperature in the shed was maybe too hot for the alevins in the tank.
    We have had quite high temperature readings in the tank since the start and maybe it’s just been too warm for them. We’ll send in the readings and record sheets but that’s all we can do here. Very sad class today who have really taken to the task well and produced some great poster presentations to display our work and project.
    We’ll keep looking to see how everyone else is getting on.
    Good luck from Mr Mc and P7’s.

  29. Mr Pietri says:

    Very sad indeed Neil! I’m surprised one sunny day could have caused the temperature to soar and kill all the alevins; we need to find out what really happened so that it doesn’t occur again next year. It’s a real pity since you and the pupils had put so much work in the project. However, we’re hoping to be able to obtain some alevins for your class, either from other schools taking part in the project or straight from the hatchery, so that your pupils can enjoy a field trip, learn about their local burn and release some young trout as well!

  30. Kristen Muir says:

    Poor St. Andrew’s alevins 😦 Really sorry to hear the sad news. Don’t be put off – try again next year! From Sanday P5,6,7.

  31. Adele & Andrew (North Walls, Hoy) says:

    This morning when we went to check on the eggs we saw that they had all hatched apart from a few. Hopefully they will hatch tomorrow. We will send pictures from the microscope to Mr Pietri.
    Bye for now we will keep you updated.

    Adele and Andrew (North Walls)

  32. Ben & Cameron (North Walls, Hoy) says:

    Good news so far. We have been doing graphs for the project plus
    we have made a video of the alevins from a computer microscope.
    We will send them to Mr Pietri to post on the blog later.
    We will keep you updated.

    Ben and Cameron (North Walls).

  33. Neil Ewing says:

    Thats not so good news from St Andrew after all your hard work -hope the kids weren’t too disappointed. We have plenty of Alevins here at KGS. I could drop some of at St Andrew if that would help to keep project going.
    I was worried about the water quality at KGS over the weekend as it was becoming very cloudy and lots of debris from all the eggs hatching. However we have completely changed the water and used a net to clean out remains of egg cases and that seems to have done the trick.
    Mr Ewing

  34. Craig (Stronsay School) says:

    All of the alevins have hatched now, the remaining eggs are all dead so they were removed this morning.

  35. daniel (Stronsay School) says:

    everything looking good in our tank

  36. Neil Ewing says:

    Things still going ok at KGS although we have a load of fry that seems to have abnormalities and are having trouble swimming properly. Just keeping an eye on it but may have to remove them from the tank eventually

  37. Mr Pietri says:

    Hi Neil,
    I would start removing the deformed alevins now and keep a note of the number of fish showing abnormalities. I’ve been checking the Stronsay alevins this afternoon and didn’t notice one single deformed fish. Actually it’s the first time that there seems to be a big issue with so many deformed alevins. When are you planning the release Neil?

  38. Mike Cuddihy says:

    Hello Mr Pietri,

    I’ve just had my first look at this year’s Troot in the Shed Project 2013 and I’m delighted to see that this year’s project is bigger and better than ever with six schools throughout the islands involved.

    Reading through the blog I’m struck with level of enthusiasm shown by the students. I think that you’ve got a budding new group of future environmentalists and possibly even anglers in the making.

    Keep up the excellent work everyone and well done!

    Mike Cuddihy

  39. Mr Pietri says:

    Thank you Mr. Cuddihy for your support!
    Schools have started releasing their trout in various water courses and lochs across the county: Dounby Primary said good bye to theirs on Friday 15/03 by the Burn of Hourston, within walking distance from the school and St. Andrews Primary let their fry go into the Burn of Quoykea on Tuesday 19/03. KGS are planning their release at the week-end and Stronsay, Sanday and North Walls next week.
    I’m waiting for photographs from the schools and as soon as I receive them, I’ll put new posts on this blog.

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