New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
Public contact, Information Center: (888) 248-6866
Media contact: Karl Moffatt: (505) 476-8007


Trout in the Classroom program helps New Mexico science teacher win presidential award

FARMINGTON – Cindy Colomb has used the Trout in the Classroom program for years to teach her sixth-grade science students about biology, and it just helped her win a presidential award.

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish supports Trout in the Classroom projects around the state by providing trout eggs, technical assistance and staff for classroom presentations and field trips.

Colomb and three other New Mexico teachers recently received a highly coveted Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

The Trout in the Classroom program, pioneered by Trout Unlimited, allows students to raise trout in their classrooms and later release them into the wild. The students learn biology and other science-related subjects during the process.

Colomb said students in the Farmington area are very interested in trout due to the local angling culture generated by the nearby trophy-class trout fishery, the San Juan River.

“In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see one my students working as a biologist for Game and Fish someday,” she said.

Volunteers from the San Juan Fly Fishing Federation and the department routinely work with Colomb and her students at Hermosa Middle School. They sponsor field trips to the San Juan River each year, where students release their trout and spend the day learning about fly-fishing, insects, wildlife and the environment. There are now seven teachers at three different Farmington area schools conducting Trout in the Classroom projects this year, said Cpl. Brad Ryan, the department’s Farmington based conservation officer.

Colomb has been a middle school science teacher with the Farmington School District for 15 years. She said she was thrilled to be recognized for her work at an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.

For more information about the Trout in the Classroom program, please contact Dennis Segura, sport-fishing, aquatic education coordinator for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, or (505) 476-8119.