Henry County homeschooled students release Brook trout into Smith River

Published: Aug. 30, 2023 at 12:20 PM EDT
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HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Lots of fish got a new home Wednesday, thanks to Henry County homeschool students.

Around 30 kids released one-year-old Brook trout into the Smith River with help from the Dan River Basin Association.

They raised the trout at the Virginia Museum of Natural History since last October.

They got to watch the different stages of the trout life cycle and learn about conservation through the Trout in the Classroom program.

Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) was also there to release trout with the kids.

“The trout release is usually students’ favorite field trip,” said Krista Hodges, Education Outreach Manager with the Dan River Basin Association. “I’ve heard a lot of students say that this is the best field trip that they’ve ever been on because maybe some of them didn’t know that the river existed. Maybe this is their first trip to the river. So, it’s a really fun experience being right here in their own backyard, getting in the river, seeing the macro invertebrates, and then actually getting able to release the trout.”

Brook trout are the only native species of trout in Virginia.

Dan River Basin officials say the Smith River is one of the few places that is clean enough for the fish to survive.