Sunday, 2 March 2014

Swimming free in Blagdon Lake

On Thursday and Friday Bournville primary school set off for Blagdon Lake to release their thriving fry (baby trout)!  After chasing the fry around the tank, as they were such speedy swimmers, we netted them and carefully transported them in a tupperware pot.

On our arrival at Blagdon Lake we fed the biggest trout on Bristol Waters' site in one of their enormous tanks  - some of which were up to a year and a half old - and the children saw just how big trout can be when they reach adult size.  It was an amazing sight to see them frothing the water and jumping up to get their food.  In one tank there were 20,000 fish!

We then followed a nature trail through the woodland and learnt all about badgers, bird, owl and bat houses, as well as where otters live.  Before leaving the Bristol Water site, we had a look at the eel passes which have been put in place to help young eels (elvers) navigate up river and into the lake.  There were none in the tank waiting to be transported up to the lake in a bucket on the two days we were there!

After lunch at Blagdon fishing lodge, each child set free their very own home grown fry from the tank at school.  They were released into the lake and the children watched as they swam off into the depths and weed of their new home.  There were very nearly a few tears shed as the children (and teachers) said a fond farewell to their little charges.  
This was a lovely culmination to our Trout and About project.  It was amazing to think how the trout have transformed from the eggs which first entered the tanks back at the beginning of january to the healthy little fry which have now started life in their new (and very large) home.

Thanks to Bournville School for all of their fantastic enthusiasm and hard work in rearing their trout.  

Anna Stevens, Trout and About Education Officer

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