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St. Mary’s students stock Spring Creek

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Several dozen Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s sixth-grade science students appear excited as they release trout fingerlings into Spring Creek at Golden Gate Campground Thursday. Behind most of the students are from left, Minnesota Trout Unlimited Environmental Education Specialist Evan Griggs and Environmental Educator and Trout in the Classroom Fishing Skills Instructor Jim Emery.

GOLDEN GATE CAMPGROUND — Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s sixth-grade science class students got excited as they got a hands-on experience with Mother Nature Thursday.

Instructor Mary Beth Botz said students began raising trout fingerlings in the classroom last December in preparation for the trout stocking.

Early Thursday afternoon, students rode a bus to Golden Gate Campground and Spring Creek, north of Sleepy Eye, a couple miles south of the Minnesota River and about a mile east of State Highway 4.

Students became excited as they were introduced to Minnesota Trout Unlimited (MTU) Environmental Education Specialists Evan Griggs and Jim Emery near the creek.

Students released 60 fingerling trout, used to provide angling opportunities on waters with the potential to provide a trout fishery.

Afterwards, Griggs and Emery taught students some of the finer points of trout fishing, first on land, then at the creek.

Minnesota’s stream trout opener was April 17. The fishing season opener for lake trout, walleye, bass and northern pike is Saturday, May 15.

Minnesota Trout Unlimited represents several thousand members and five Minnesota chapters. Its mission is to conserve, protect, restore, and sustain Minnesota cold-water fisheries and their watersheds.

Working with conservation organizations and businesses, MTU has restored habit in more than 75 miles of trout streams and six trout lakes. In addition, MTU engages the next generation of conservationists through youth programs including Trout in the Classroom programs, camp sponsorship and youth casting clinics.

For more information, visit mntu.org

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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