Students harvest, learn about catfish

By: Donathan Prater – OA News

Loachapoka Elementary School students took an unconventional fishing trip Friday—without even leaving campus.

As part of an Aquaculture Project sponsored by PACERS, a group that helps bring academic and cultural programs to rural schools, sixth grade students at the school harvested a catfish pond on campus Friday.

Using a seine net that stretched across the small pond, students harvested more than 100 catfish that were weighed and measured with the data being recorded, according to Loachapoka High School Science instructor Rick Pavek.

After recording data about the catfishes’ diet and their ideal habitat, the catch was cleaned, fried and eaten.

Aside from breading and seasoning, there are a lot of scientific lessons Pavek said.

“From monitoring the oxygen levels in a catfish pond to their spawning habits, the lessons to be learned about these creatures is limitless,” said Pavek.

Loachapoka Elementary School Principal Mary Ross agreed.

“It’s one thing to teach students science but another to teach them how to become scientists,” said Ross.

The catfish harvested by the students at LES were donated by the Auburn University Department of Fisheries, according to Pavek.

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