Ocean Springs students release 2,500 fish into waters
Twenty five hundred speckled trout are now back in the wild thanks to a class of Ocean Springs High School students, USM’s Gulf Coast Research Lab and the DMR. The lab donated the fish to show students how aquaculture can benefit our Coast.
A victorious moment for the Ocean Springs aquaculture class, releasing 2,500 speckled trout back into the waters after the fish started out as babies in the high school’s greenhouse. Junior Amelia Moore said, “We’ve been raising them since August and we’ve been working and just growing and feeding them and cleaning them.”
It’s part of the class’ sea trout program, casting a reel at restocking the trout population in the Gulf. Aquaculture teacher Bryan Butler said, “At this age, they’re stronger, they’re well fed, and they’re fat fish and they have a better chance at making it.”
On Tuesday, the trout were ready to swim home as DMR officials and students let the fish go into the waters at the Gulf Coast Research Lab’s campus. Junior Taylor Scatliffe said, “It’s just kind of like a bittersweet moment, like we’ve basically raised them as our own and whenever we release them it’s kind of sad.”
Junior Will Johnson said, “It is like when you’re parents and you’re letting your kids go off to college, like you’re sad, but you know they’re going to be amazing.”
Students say growing up in South Mississippi it is important to know about the Gulf Coast’s waters and marine life and their aquaculture program nets that for our young people. Junior Zach Anderson said, “It’s such a great program and I love just being out here and dealing with the fish and growing them and just knowing that whenever I release them, I hope one day I can catch them back.”
As the fish swim on into their new homes, the class that raised them has a message for them. “Goodbye,” said Scatliffe. Moore said, “Just keep swimming, have a happy life.”
“I would tell them good luck, grow fast, and hopefully someone can catch you later on,” said Butler.