Year of the Trout shout out! Mountain Kids, if this is your year, I know that being out of school right now means that some pretty fun field trips aren’t happening. This isn’t great news but the good news is that you are more free to learn outside than ever before. Monday through Friday you can really get outside and explore our mountain home in ways that you haven’t done since you were four years old, but now you are bigger, stronger and smarter!
Clear, clean and cold water that trout need is not an accident. The trees and plants along the bank play a big part in that. This riparian area beside the creek or river is as important as the river itself. This year, in all seasons, you will be working with local aquatic scientists and fisheries biologists to help them better understand and take care of local trout and their habitat. It's a big job and the creek closest to your house may be a place that has never been studied before.
As a scientist you are also studying how water and land interact so look at every little pool and pond and tributary that helps our watershed be a healthy place for trout and Mountain Kids. It will change a lot during the year so go outside every day and see what is happening. You wouldn’t want to miss it!
A few guiding habits as you venture into aquatic habitats.
- Go outside everyday
- Explore where the water is on the land. What places are always wet? What places change from dry to wet, and then back again?
- Go to your closest creek or river at least once a week. Notice the changes to the river as the snow melts, the storms pass, and the river rises and falls.
- Track the changes to the riparian area around along the river. When do the leaves change color and finally fall? When do the buds first appear of different trees? When do they turn to leaves. Notice them every time you visit.
- Keep your eyes open for the trout of your creek or river. Look for the other organisms that also call it home. Some are eaten by the trout. Some may even eat the trout!
- Field journal one big adventure at least once a week.