Students Undertake Wild Trout Habitat Stream Restoration Effort

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From Our Lady of Victory Catholic School

The students from Our Lady of Victory Catholic School (OLVCS) were instrumental in
helping restore and conserve parts of Romola Stream near Howard, PA.

With the help of the United States Youth Fly Fishing Team and National Trout Unlimited as well as the financial support of Patagonia, students’ efforts will reduce the collection of sediment that ends up in Bald Eagle Lake as well as Chesapeake Bay as well as improving the stream habitat. This project will have an immediate and long term impact both locally and nationally.

Students helped to construct wild trout in-stream habitat enhancement structures and built structures to prevent erosion along the bank of the stream. They used
sledgehammers to drive rebar into cut and fallen trees. Stream rocks were then
shingled in the structure. The log, rebar, and rocks will redirect the stream, prevent
erosion and add habitats to the creek near Bald Eagle.

John Ford, President of the United States Youth Fly Fishing Team Inc., spearheads this
effort and was able to secure grants from Patagonia and from the S. Kent Rockwell
Foundation to undertake these Wild Trout Habitat Projects.

John Ford explained, “We invite students to gain an understanding and participate in
the care of our Pennsylvania waters. The student’s involvement will create
improvements to the stream that will last for years. Our goal is to give the students
stream-side opportunities to promote conservation awareness and hands-on projects.”

OLVCS 7th grade student, Thomas Rokita, shared more about his experience,
“Everyone upstream has an impact downstream. Restoring the stream helps thewildlife thrive not only here, but in the oceans and bays. We built deflectors which
didn’t just provide fish with more swimmable waters, but also with more food. Bugs like living in the deflectors, which become the food for the ecosystem.”

Lisa Grove, 8th grade Science teacher at OLVCS adds, “This was an outstanding
learning opportunity for our students. They put into action what they are learning in the classroom. The students got to see first hand the importance of taking care of God’s creation. This experience built a foundation of respect for taking care of our
environment that they will take with them. Plus, it is really fun to swing a sledge
hammer!”

OLVCS looks forward to continuing to participate with the Wild Trout Habitat Projects in the future.