Native Fish in the Classroom

Native Fish in the Classroom

Program Info | Teacher’s Guide & Lesson Plans | Schools & Teachers | Photos

** 2016-17 Student Post-Test **
Note: Please complete both sections of the test.

What is Native Fish in the Classroom?



To assist students in developing an attitude of stewardship toward Louisiana’s natural resources and to provide for them a constructive active learning situation in which students can explore strategies for sustaining our aquatic ecosystems.


  • Provide students in grades six through twelve with background information on fisheries management, fish biology, protected species, and aquatic natural resources.
  • Maintain a classroom-based nursery aquarium in which students grow native, Louisiana fish, paddlefish, from eggs to fingerlings.
  • Produce paddlefish that can be used by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery to help manage a protected fish population in Louisiana.
  • Assist students in developing an attitude of stewardship toward the state’s natural resources. Students will gain awareness of freshwater ecological systems by helping prevent the loss of a protected fish, benefiting the whole freshwater system.

Why Paddlefish?

  • Paddlefish spawning cycles coincide with the spring semester of school year
  • Paddlefish eggs are large enough to view with the naked eye
  • They have distinctive life-stages and develop into fingerlings in about a month and one half
  • They are a protected species in Louisiana
  • They are a living fossil

How do paddlefish get to the classroom?

  • Qualified candidates, 5th through 12th grade science teachers living in Louisiana.
  • Candidates will write a letter of intent, attend all workshops, pick up eggs, and return fingerlings to the hatchery.
  • The candidate’s school will show support of the teacher and the project

Participation in NFC Includes:

  • Workshop For Intensive Training: biology, fisheries management, aquaculture maintenance, importance of native species, and stewardship
  • NFC Teachers Guide Book: background, lessons, aquaria setup and maintenance
  • Video: “The Paddlefish: An American Treasure”, 1995 Betsy Willis
  • Equipment: aquaria setup and supplies
  • Support: list of who to contact for help and trouble-shooting


  • Early March to Late May
  • Teacher will get eggs (possibility of Fieldtrips to see propagation)
  • Rearing of the fish to Fingerling size
  • April fieldtrip to BFFH to see hands on Fisheries Management
  • Teacher (and students – fieldtrip) to return fingerlings

For More Information, contact:

Angela Capello at (318) 748-6999 or [email protected]