Trout experiment survivors released into Augusta Canal

Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 9:29 PM
Last updated 9:47 PM
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Students trying to determine if trout can survive in the Augusta Canal got part of their question answered Tuesday.

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Davidson teacher Carl Hammond-Beyer (left) watches as Davidson students Parker Bolick (center) and Wesley Pippin pour a container of rainbow trout into the Augusta Canal on Tuesday.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Davidson teacher Carl Hammond-Beyer (left) watches as Davidson students Parker Bolick (center) and Wesley Pippin pour a container of rainbow trout into the Augusta Canal on Tuesday.

“I think it’s marginal, but it’s doable,” said Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School science teacher Carl Hammond-Beyer.

About 1,000 tiny fry hatched by Leesa Lyles’ class at Warren Road Elementary School were placed into the canal last June in a special cage, where they were observed and fed during the warmest months of the year.

Although mortality was heavy as the fish began to grow larger, and fed on one another, students concluded their experiment Tuesday with the release of the 11 surviving fish.

“These fish are about seven inches long, and considering they were hatched April 16, that’s a pretty good growth rate,” Hammond-Beyer said.

Space in the submerged cage was a limiting factor, he added, but so were factors including low oxygen levels that accompanied extended, heavy rains.

Lyles said the experiment will be repeated later this year and might possibly include the release of newly hatched grout fry directly into the canal.

Hammond-Beyer, meanwhile, said students are working to re-design the trout holding tank for better results in future experiments.

The eventual objective, he said, is to collect data to prove to the Georgia De­part­ment of Natural Resources that the canal could support trout sufficiently to allow a recreational fishery.

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bubbasauce
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bubbasauce 10/15/13 - 10:00 pm
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I hate to be the bearer of

I hate to be the bearer of bad news and I do wish this program to be a success but I would bet they have already been eaten by either a large mouth bass or a stripper. Good intentions though.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/16/13 - 03:53 am
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Is "grout fry" some other

Is "grout fry" some other type of trout?

dobenator
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dobenator 10/16/13 - 08:34 am
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Hungry

I have seen some of the "stripper's" downtown and looks like they will eat anything!!

David Parker
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David Parker 10/16/13 - 09:06 am
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The bass will feast on them

The bass will feast on them no doubt. The experiment wasn't to test sustainability against predators, just environmental. How to limit predation is a whole nuther serious of tests and experiments. This is all fascinating though. Congratulations to the students and Mr. Hammond-Beyer on a very fine job.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 10/16/13 - 10:41 am
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What We Know

Thousands of trout were released into the river about 15 years ago and none were ever caught. What's different now is the aerators have been added to the dam. The oxygen content is higher. Is there a new species of trout? Was the line about grout fry about a new type trout? If so try those.

Since there have been changes, let's try releasing thousands again in the river just below the dam where the water is coldest coming from the bottom of the lake. The fish will work their way downstream as far as the water temp and oxygen are conducive. Make sense?

David Parker
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David Parker 10/16/13 - 12:46 pm
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The river ecosystem and the

The river ecosystem and the canal ecosystem are pretty varied. I would guess they are studying things on the canal b/c it is somewhat isolated from the river system. Alot of variables can be eliminated upfront with the canal. I'd figure if things are successful in the canal, they would begin looking at introduction into the river itself.....maybe. Still alot to study though.

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