California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Classroom Aquarium Education Program

CAEP in Action

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Trout in the Classroom project at Lafayette Elementary


Trout in the Classroom with Trout Unlimited

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Known regionally as Trout in the Classroom, Salmonids in the Classroom, Steelhead in the Classroom, or Salmon and Trout Education Program.

Through a classroom experience of hatching fish eggs and coordinated activities, students experience first-hand the value of aquatic environments, the balance that must be met to maintain and preserve California's fisheries and aquatic habitats, and how their personal actions affect these valuable resources.

Instructors and their students set up an aquarium in the classroom, receive fish eggs under a special CDFW permit, and observe the fish as they hatch and develop. The experience may culminate in a field trip to a local stream or river where the fish are released. This is a hands-on, interdisciplinary project for grades K-12.

The Classroom Aquarium Education Project is offered statewide in partnership with regionally-based community organizations. While the program has several names around the state, the essential learning elements and student experiences are similar. The prerequisite training workshops are held at locations throughout the state. Completion of a training workshop is required to receive eggs. Teacher training workshops are offered at least once a year in each region.

California map showing CDFW Regions Link to Northern Region CAEP Link to North Central Region CAEP Link to Bay Delta Region CAEP Link to Central Region CAEP Link to South Coast Region CAEP Link to Inland Deserts Region CAEP