BSM adds new trout club, linked with Trout Unlimited

The+Trout+Club+is+now+a+part+of+the+BSM+community.+

Photo Courtesy of Lauren Ruess

The Trout Club is now a part of the BSM community.

Sam Best, Staff Writer

This past year, BSM added another club to its long lists of activities for students. The Trout Club offered to junior high students, is for kids who are interested in trout fishing and want to learn more about the specifics of it.

The Trout Club is connected to BSM’s already offered Trout in the Classroom program. Both of these programs are run through an organization called Trout Unlimited, a company that organizes all trout programs throughout the state. The Trout in the Classroom program is a part of the science curriculum for 8th-grade students at BSM. The program is run throughout the country, but each state has their own version of the course, and some states raise salmon instead of trout.

Ms. Lauren Ruess, junior high science teacher, leads the Trout in the Classroom course and guides the students throughout the school year. Ruess is proud of her students thus far because they have the most surviving fish at this point in the year. “We started with roughly 390 rainbow trout eggs; 40 we ended up donating to a school in Prior Lake, who lost most of their eggs, and we have lost 12 eggs from natural causes this year,” Ruess said. 

We started with roughly 390 rainbow trout eggs; 40 we ended up donating to a school in Prior Lake, who lost most of their eggs, and we have lost 12 eggs from natural causes this year.”

— Lauren Reuss

Trout Unlimited’s classroom program is required, but students can choose to go deeper and further in-depth with the trout if they would like to. The program offers field trips throughout the year, which are all optional for students who are more interested in the trout’s lives. “Students also have an opportunity at the end of the year to participate and release the trout into the wild,” Ruess said.

The new club is also run through Trout Unlimited. Trout Unlimited is an organization with the goal of bringing people together who care about coldwater fish together to protect, reconnect, and restore the places they love to the fish. The student program exemplifies this, with schools all over the nation. Evan Griggs, one of the Trout Unlimited leaders, really wants to start clubs like BSM’s throughout the state for kids who are engrossed in fishing and interested in trout. “Griggs comes to BSM once a month and works with kids. He teaches them about water quality, tying flies, teaching kids how to cast a fly rod, and many other fishing-related activities,” Mr. Greg Hoemke, the Trout Club leader, said. 

Junior high teacher Hoemke worked with Griggs to get the program up and running. He also helps lead the club’s once-a-month meetings they have. “We are going to wind up going trout fishing in the Vermillion River in April, and in May, we are going to take kids on a drift boat trip and float through the Mississippi River and fly cast for smallmouth bass,” Hoemke said. 

BSM is the first junior high in the state to have a trout club, along with a couple of elementary schools throughout the state. Roughly 20 kids have joined. “We are also going to do a field trip in March to the Fly Expo, where students will have the ability to purchase things and listen to seminars about how to fish for trout, bass muskies, and a lot of fly tying demonstrations,” Ruess said. 

Hoemke is interested to see where the program will go, and he is truly invested and loves working with the kids to offer them a unique opportunity through BSM’s resources. “Some kids don’t have a group they are interested in, and this is a great fit for them,” Hoemke said.