A number of years ago Dreamstore Academy went to Orkney to deliver the coaching course to a number of anglers keen to develop an Angling for Youth Development hub on the islands. Great bunch of people who have developed and adapted ideas, and are growing in success. One of the group, Antoine Pietri undertook the role of Troot in the Shed Project Co-ordinator – elsewhere, known as Trout in the Classroom. The 2014 Orkney edition of Troot in the Shed involved about 180 young people and 25 adults based in the South and North isles as well as the Mainland and who all took an active part in the project.
Antoine has recently sent us a report on the latest release, and news that the project’s blog has changed location from March 21st 2014, due to storage limits, and is now found at: trootintheshed.wordpress.com
This year, the Troot in the Shed initiative has grown a bit more with 7 mini-hatcheries spread across the Orkney Islands: Stronsay Junior High, Sanday Community School, North Walls Community School, St. Andrews Primary School, Dounby Primary School; with the addition of two new-comers, Papdale Halls Hostel in Kirkwall and Stromness Primary School.
As in the past, it was the usual staggered hatching dates, depending on the locations chosen to set the tanks. Since no costly equipment is used, we rely entirely on the weather to keep the water cool enough to delay the release into mid or late March. 2014 was particularly kind to us as the winter weather was very consistent and maintained most of the tanks around 7 or 8˚C; this produced some very high success rates and most schools only reported a couple of dead eggs out of 150-200 and no alevin deaths.
After all the stocking consents were obtained from Marine Scotland, it was time to release the unfed fry into the local burns and lochs. The weather, yet again, was kind to most of us, and all trips could go ahead. Being by a loch or a burn was a good opportunity to teach youngsters about the biodiversity and environment: kick-samples were studied and revealed shrimps, caddis and mayfly larvae, snails, leaches and corixas. Out on the island of Sanday, local ranger Roderick Thorne, accompanied the school group and gave a little talk about the wildlife to be found on or near the local lochs.
Most schools have already asked to be involved again next year.
Antoine sends a particularly big thanks to:
- the Orkney Trout Fishing Association and the hatchery committee for setting aside a tray of Harray Loch ova for our project.
- Jim Erskine for his meticulous work with the North Walls school.
- Malcolm Thomson’s involvement with Dounby and Stromness Primaries
- Sandy Kerr for visiting St. Andrews Primary.
Dreamstore sends a big thanks to Antoine , everyone involved in this tremendous Troot in the Shed project, and all the AFYD team on Orkney.