OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Fishing for speckled trout in South Mississippi waters is going to be a little bit easier in the future.
For the past six months, several students in the aquaculture class at Ocean Springs High School have been raising speckled trout in tanks. The fish started as fingerlings, and have now grown to juvenile size. On Tuesday, about 2,500 of the specks were released into the waters of Davis Bayou.
"The students are having a really good time. They worked with these fish since August and so to be able to set them free in the wild is really a big thing for them," said teacher Bryan Butler.
The specks are carefully netted, and placed in buckets before placed in their temporary home.
The class is one-of-a-kind and the students are big fans.
"There's no other class like it in this school district. You get hands on learning with animals," Nikki Frulla said.
For some students, caring for nature's bounty comes natural.
"We learned how to take care of fish, like their basic needs, what they need to survive, how much food and keeping the ammonia levels in the tanks straight. Just what do to if the PH is off," said Thomas Foreman.
Many of the students in the class say they enjoy the hands-on approach and the different learning environment. Some students say they are interested in a career in marine biology, and this is a good first step toward that goal.
"I really want to do marine biology whenever I'm in college so I figured that if I take this class, it will help me learn all the different things I need to learn for my career," One student noted.
In any event, it was a successful release in partnership with the Gulf Coast Research Lab in Ocean Springs. The aquaculture class at the high school was formed three years ago, and instructors say it's been a big success.