Fishing Around for the Facts

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[ Classroom Webcam Image Description Here ]
Photo Credit: http://www.wildtrout.org/WTT/default.asp
INTRODUCTION: What are trout? Where do they live? How do trout populate a new stream? What makes for healthy trout habitat? What role do trout play in the cycling of matter (carbon, oxygen, nitrogen) and energy in an ecosystem? How would introduced hatchery trout impact the receiving stream? These are the kinds of questions that biologist and ecologists ask when attempting to learn more about any organism and how that species fits into the larger scheme of life on earth. As we watch trout emerge from their eggs and develop into fry in our classroom, preparing for the day that we select a stream to release the survivors, you will be on a WebQuest. This Fishing Around for the Facts WebQuest has been designed to help you understand what it means to be, live, and survive as a “trout” or population of trout in a given ecosystem.

SCIENCE STANDARDS: This WebQuest has been designed to specifically address the High School California Academic Content Standards for Biology/Life Sciences stressing the science and study of Ecology. This standard specifically states that the…

6. Stability in an ecosystem is a balance between competing effects. As a basis for understanding this concept, students know:

a. biodiversity is the sum total of different kinds of organisms, and is affected by alterations of habitats.

b. how to analyze changes in an ecosystem resulting from changes in climate, human activity, introduction of non-native species, or changes in population size.

c. how fluctuations in population size in an ecosystem are determined by the relative rates of birth, immigration, emigration, and death.

d. how water, carbon, and nitrogen cycle between abiotic resources and organic matter in the ecosystem and how oxygen cycles via photosynthesis and respiration.

e. a vital part of an ecosystem is the stability of its producers and decomposers.

f. at each link in a food web, some energy is stored in newly made structures but much is dissipated into the environment as heat and this can be represented in a food pyramid.

g.* how to distinguish between the accommodation of an individual organism to its environment and the gradual adaptation of a lineage of organisms through genetic change.

TASKS: Stability in an ecosystem is a balance between competing factors. The student's task will be to determine and describe a healthy, stable ecosystem that can support a viable population of “introduced” hatchery raised trout. In order to accomplish this task each student will need to: 

Ø      Determine and describe the taxonomic classification (Kingdom à species) for trout raised at the Mojave River Hatchery.

Ø      Determine and describe what this kind of trout needs to survive, grow and reproduce in a natural ecosystem.

Ø      Determine and describe the abiotic and biotic factors that will influence the fluctuation of a population of hatchery raised trout when introduced to a local stream.

Ø      Determine and describe the role surviving hatchery raised trout will play in the cycling of energy and matter (carbon, oxygen, nitrogen) in their new aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem?

Ø    Determine if the perennially flowing section of the Mojave River between the Mojave River Narrows Regional Park and the Lower Mojave River Narrows at Rock View Nature Center, can support a viable and self-maintaining population of hatchery released trout.

SITUATION: It is June, the summer after your junior year at the University of California in Riverside. Your major is biology. You have just begun a summer internship with the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). Since your home address is in the Mojave Desert, you have been assigned to region 6, the “Inland Deserts” district of the CDFG.

Sandy, your supervisor, has been busy all year participating with a statewide team of wild land managers to develop the “West Mojave Coordinated Management Plan”. The day you arrive she receives the following request from her supervisor in Sacramento:

“We need to know if the perennially flowing section of the Mojave River between the Mojave River Narrows Regional Park and the Lower Mojave River Narrows at Rock View Nature Center can support a viable and self-maintaining population of hatchery released trout. A preliminary findings report is needed in Sacramento by July 1st.”

Because of her other time commitments, Sandy decides to make this task your internship project. Giving you a couple of examples of other “preliminary finding” reports, you and Sandy put together a rough outline of information that will be needed in the report:

SECTION 1: Title Page, Abstract and Problem Statement

1.      Title Page

a.     Title page consists only of:

    • a descriptive title for the report,
    • author's name, and
    • the reports completion date.

2.      Abstract

Separate page abstract clearly summarizes the significant findings and preliminary conclusion in less than 200 words. Don’t mention anything in this section for the first time.

3.      Problem Statement

a.      A problem statement is brief and concise, clearly stating the problem that is being addressed.

b.     Include just enough background information to establish the importance for arriving at a solution or best finding.

SECTION 2: Review of Literature

1.      Trout Taxonomy: (4 or fewer paragraphs and an illustration)

a.      What is a trout? (one paragraph with an illustration)

b.      How are trout different from other fish? (one paragraph)

c.      What kind of trout is raised in the local CDFG fish hatchery(s)? Identify as many common and scientific names for this trout as possible. (one paragraph)

d.   Illustrate the taxonomy of the local “fish hatchery” trout from Kingdom to species. In the illustration include some examples of other fish ”kinds” that are closely related to our “hatchery trout” at the “family” and “genus” level of classification.

 Before conducting your research for this section of the report, review your notes and read (skim over) chapters 17 and 30 in your textbook (Biology: The Dynamics of Life, © 2002).

2.      Trout Life Cycle:

a.       Describe and illustrate the life cycle of a naturalized hatchery trout if raised in a stream, river or lake that impedes access to the ocean. (4 or fewer paragraphs with an illustration)

b.      Describe and illustrate an alternative life cycle that this species could participate in if raised in a stream or river that drains into the ocean. (4 or fewer paragraphs with an illustration)

c.      Describe the stage(s) of these life cycles that is most sensitive to environmental change and why that is. (4 or fewer paragraphs with an illustration)

3.      Healthy Stream Habitat:

a.      What are the abiotic requirements needed to support the species before, during and after spawning. List and describe each requirement. (Where possible, research and find the “limits” or “range of tolerance” for each requirement that you identified.) (6 or fewer paragraphs)

b.      What are the biotic components needed to support the species (after alevins have matured into fry). List and describe these components. (6 or fewer paragraphs)

c.      What are the biotic components of a trout’s environment that it must avoid in order to survive? List and describe these components. (4 or fewer paragraphs)

d.      What are the biotic components of a trout’s environment that aide in recycling its matter back into the greater ecosystem? List and describe these components. (6 or fewer paragraphs)

e.      Construct a chart and classify the biotic components you identified above as producers, prey, predators or recyclers. (2 or fewer paragraphs with a chart)

Before conducting this next two searches, read section 2.2 Nutrition and Energy Flow in your textbook (Biology: The Dynamics of Life, © 2002).

4.      Trout and Regional Biogeochemical Cycles: How do carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen cycle through trout?

a.      Identify major carbon sources that trout rely upon for their survival. Briefly describe the role carbon plays in trout anatomy (structure) and physiology (function). (3 or fewer paragraphs)

b.      Identify major nitrogen sources that trout rely upon for their survival. Briefly describe the role nitrogen plays in trout anatomy (structure) and physiology (function). (3 or fewer paragraphs)

c.      Identify major oxygen sources that trout rely upon for their survival. Briefly describe the role oxygen plays in trout anatomy (structure) and physiology (function). (2 or fewer paragraphs)

5.      Energy Flow: (4 or fewer paragraphs with diagram)

a.      Where in the “cascade” or flow of energy from the Sun to the vastness outer space do trout fit?

b.     Capture in a detailed and labeled diagram trout’s place in the ”cascade of energy”.

SECTION 3: Field Data

1.      Current & Historical Information: Abiotic Factors

a.      Describe the maximum, average and minimum flow between the Upper and Lower Narrows using known gage height/volume/flow data for the of the Mojave River.  This website might be helpful: http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ca/nwis/uv?10261500 (1 paragraph)

b.      Using information gathered in section 3.1.a, and available data or data freshly collected from your fieldwork, describe if introduced hatchery trout could survive in Mojave River waters between the Upper and Lower Narrows. Address any seasonal variations that might effect survival. (4 or fewer paragraphs)

2.      Current & Historical Information: Biotic Factors

a.      List and describe other fish species (native or introduced) that currently reside in the Mojave River or have been identified by other as living in the river. (1 paragraph with a table)

b.       Determine if introducing trout to the Mojave River would jeopardize the survival of native fish (if any). (4 or fewer paragraphs)

c.     Determine if the eating habits of introduced trout jeopardize the survival of any native flora or fauna other than native fish (if any). (4 or fewer paragraphs)

3.      Natural Reproduction Viability

Using information gathered in section 1.2.a-c, and available data or data freshly collected from your fieldwork, describe if the Mojave River waters would be able to support the introduced trout’s complete life cycle (i.e. natural reproduction). Address any seasonal variations that might effect survival. (4 or fewer paragraphs)

SECTION 4: Significant Findings & Preliminary Conclusion

1.      Compare the findings collected in your review of literature to what you learned about the waters and surrounding ecosystems of the Mojave River and its inhabitants and highlight any important findings specific to the question of “if the perennially flowing section of the Mojave River between the Mojave River Narrows Regional Park and the Lower Mojave River Narrows at Rock View Nature Center, can support a viable and self-maintaining population of hatchery released trout.”  (1 paragraph)

2.     Give a preliminary answer to the question, “can the perennially flowing section of the Mojave River between the Mojave River Narrows Regional Park and the Lower Mojave River Narrows at Rock View Nature Center, support a viable and self-maintaining population of hatchery released trout?” and support it using findings gathered and stated in the report. (1 paragraph)

AVAILABLE RESOURCES: Besides making books in her field office’s library available to you, Sandy has provided you with the following list of web resources that she uses when preparing similar reports. She also suggests that you check out resources that are available at local libraries and trout hatcheries in your community to help you with your task.

Sandy’s Web Resource List:


Some of the following websites will require that you download Acrobat Reader. It can be downloaded for free @ http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html

Links to Resources that support Mojave Desert Studies

http://hegel.lewiscenter.org/users/mhuffine/subprojects/Instructor/IPBIO%20Main%20Page/mrss_MojDesCol.htm

Trout

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/trout.html

http://www.ccpscience.com/1pend/phylo/omyki.htm

http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/hcd/soCalDistrib.htm

http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/fmd/identify.htm

http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/psd/steelhead/98sthdfs.htm

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptfish.html

Freshwater Fish in California


http://www.dfg.ca.gov/hcpb/species/p_a_rglr/fishofcalif.pdf

California Fish Hatcheries

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/lands/fish1.html

Hatchery Trout "strains"

http://www.watrailblazers.org/science/crawford_rainbow_history.shtml
http://swr.nmfs.noaa.gov/HatcheryReviewPublicDraft2.pdf

Trout Strains/ Fish Food

http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/dec01/trout1201.htm

Genetic Studies [Rainbow Trout and/or Steelhead]

http://www.entrix.com/FMP/380802/houston/apxF.PDF

General Rainbow Trout Information

http://www3.gov.ab.ca/srd/fw/fishing/FishID/rainbow_t.html

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/html/WildTrout/wtp.htm

Trout and Salmon Enhancement Programs

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/ODFWhtml/VolunteerProg/STEP.html

Trout Identification

http://www.eangler.com/AboutFish/Index.asp

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/index.html

http://www3.gov.ab.ca/srd/fw/fishing/FishID/index.html

http://www.naparcd.org/steelheadtrout.htm

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/fishes/accounts/salmonid/on_mykis.html

http://ccb.stanford.edu/sunri/s1-1.html

Distribution

http://ice.ucdavis.edu/aquadiv/fishcovs/fishmaps.html

http://ice.ucdavis.edu/aquadiv/fishcovs/rt.gif

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/html/Publications/pdf_publications/trout%20plan.pdf

Trout “Kind” Gallery

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/html/WildTrout/trout/troutlist.htm

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/html/WildTrout/heritage/heritage.htm

Habitat requirements

http://www.roughfish.com/Trout.html

http://www.muhs.edu/pages/teacherpages/science/riverstudies/wqfactors.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptrivsald.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adopthabitat.html

http://geography.uoregon.edu/mcdowell/geog360/2001/lectures%20and%20assignments/fishlife.html

http://www.naparcd.org/healthystream.htm

http://www.sandiegotrout.org/plan.htm

http://www.thecontentwell.com/Fish_Game/Trout/Trout_Habitat.html

http://www.lethsd.ab.ca/mmh/grade3c/Gr3Web/troutproj/page3.htm

Trout Habitat Gallery

http://geography.uoregon.edu/mcdowell/geog360/2001/lectures%20and%20assignments/habitatgallery.htm

http://www.caltrout.org/skp/WFSanGabriel_StreamFacts1.html

http://www.umass.edu/tei/mwwp/riverecology.html#biological

Biogeochemical Cycles

http://www.umass.edu/tei/mwwp/riverecology.html#biological

http://essp.csumb.edu/esse/climate/climatebiogeo.html

http://www.mhhe.com/biosci/genbio/rjbiology/ELOs/ELO26.html

http://wlapwww.gov.bc.ca/soerpt/993contaminants/trout.html

http://www.biology.iupui.edu/biocourses/N100H/ch41eco.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptraindrop.html

http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/bio366/nitrogen.htm

http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/bio366/carbon-cycle.htm

http://www.utoronto.ca/env/jah/lim/lim05f99.htm

Food Chains

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptaqinvt.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptwildcomm.html

http://www.sd5.k12.mt.us/peterson/project/chain2.htm

http://sites.state.pa.us/PA_Exec/Fish_Boat/janfeb2000/focushab.htm

Trout Ecology / Biology, Ecology, Geology Related Vocabulary

http://www.truckeeriverrit.com/refgloss.asp

http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/CLASSRM/AquaticILLessons/glossary.htm

http://www.greenmuseum.org/c/ecovention/sect10.html

http://www.fwp.state.mt.us/adoptatrout/fishgloss.asp

Trout Ecology / Biotic components

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snapshots/fish/rainbowtrout.html

http://www.roughfish.com/prey.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptaqecosys.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptaqinvt.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adopteating.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adopteaten.html

http://www.colostate.edu/depts/coopunit/research.html

http://www.dal.ca/~aquatron/pages/rainbowtrout.html

http://www.wellingtonflyfishers.org.nz/html/disease.html

Trout Ecology / Life Cycle

http://www.lethsd.ab.ca/mmh/grade3c/Gr3Web/troutproj/lifecyletrout.htm

http://www.boquetriver.org/adopttrout.html

http://www.wild-trout.co.uk/rainbow.htm

http://www.kidfish.bc.ca/fish/info_rainbow.htm

http://alaska.fws.gov/nwr/togiak/rbt_lc.html

http://www.thecontentwell.com/Fish_Game/Trout/Trout_Spawning.html

http://www.bio.utexas.edu/courses/bio354l/projects/1998/Matthew_Bays/facts.html

Mojave River Wildlife

http://ventura.fws.gov/SpeciesAccount/fish/mj%20Tui%20chub.htm

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/fishes/accounts/cyprinid/gi_orcut.html

http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=2757

http://endangered.fws.gov/esb/2002/01-02/18-19.pdf

http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/sccs/species/mahave-tui-chub.htm

http://www.r5.fs.fed.us/sccs/species/arroyo-toad.htm

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/fishing/html/WildTrout/waters/deepck.htm

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/fishes/accounts/salmonid/sa_fonti.html

Native and Non-native Fish of the Mojave River

Mojave Tui Chub

Where the Mojave Tui Chub has been caught, released or is naturally found.

http://ventura.fws.gov/SpeciesAccount/fish/mj%20Tui%20chub.htm

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/huc6sw.html

http://ventura.fws.gov/fish.html

http://www.nanfa.org/articles/acdesert.htm

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpFactSheet.asp?speciesID=401

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpFactSheet.asp?speciesID=553

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpFactSheet.asp?speciesID=702

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpFactSheet.asp?speciesID=730

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpFactSheet.asp?speciesID=822

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpFactSheet.asp?speciesID=845

http://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/SpFactSheet.asp?speciesID=910

Deep Creek (East Fork of the Mojave River)

http://www.friendsoftheriver.org/RiverGems/DeepCreek.html

Collecting Data at a River

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptembd.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptmonitor.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adopteros.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adopttrans.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptscope.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptembdns.html

http://www.boquetriver.org/adoptdis.html

Information Data Bases

Fish Information

http://www.fishbase.org/search.html?server=CGNET (Check out the fish IDENTIFICATION link)

http://biodiversity.uno.edu/cgi-bin/hl?fish

Mojave River Flow Information

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ca/nwis/uv?10261500

Statewide Stream and River Flow data

http://waterdata.usgs.gov/ca/nwis/rt

PROJECT EVALUATION: Sandy, your CDFG internship supervisor uses a rubric to evaluate her work before sending it on to Sacramento. She will be using the same rubric to evaluate your draft. Your summer internship program grade with the university will depend on her assessment. The rubric that she will use is as follows:

Preliminary Findings Report Evaluation Rubric

Authors Name:

Score:

This analytic rubric is used to verify specific tasks performed when producing a “preliminary findings report. If the task has been successfully completed, all points are awarded. No points are awarded if the task is not complete. If a score of < 70 pts. Is awarded, the draft Preliminary Findings Report will need to be reworked.

Category

Scoring Criteria

Points

Authors
Evaluation

Supervisor
Evaluation

Section1

Abstract,

Title Page,

Problem Statement

30 points

The Abstract is a separate page that clearly summarizes the preliminary findings and conclusions in less than 200 words.

10

   

The Title Page consists only of: a descriptive title for the reports, author's name, and reports completion date.

5

   

The Problem Statement made the goal of the preliminary findings report clear and contained sufficient…

10

   

Sufficient Background information to establish the importance of  the arriving at a sound preliminary finding.

5

   

Section 2

Review of Literature

15 points

Scientific terms and concepts are properly used.

5

   

Research findings are presented in the writer's own words, not "cut and pasted".

5

   

Quoted research is properly cited using either footnotes or on a bibliography page at the end of the report

5

   

Section 3

Field Data

30 points

Current data is cited.

10

   

Collected data is presented in a manner appropriate for facilitating easy analysis (i.e. data is presented in charts, graphs, as pictures, illustrations, model etc)

10

   

Preliminary findings are clearly stated based solely on cited research and collected field data

10

   

Section 4

Significant Findings and Preliminary Conclusion
15 points

The most important findings are restated.

5

   

The researcher's final thoughts about the proposed preliminary finding or solution to the problem are stated.

5

   

No new information is introduced.

5

   

Bibliography
10 points

A single page bibliography is provided.

10

   

Score

Total Points

100

   

Self-evaluation

Authors are expected to honestly evaluate their own work. If the difference between the author’s evaluation and the supervisor’s evaluation is more than 10 points, The draft will have to be reworked by the author.

Copyright © 2003, Matthew Huffine, Lewis Center for Educational Research
Apple Valley, California 92307