RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – One Western Dakota Tech program may be a big contributor to a future Big Ol’ Fish segment. On Wednesday Western Dakota Tech’s controlled environment agriculture program released a batch of the fish they raised into Rapid City’s waterways.
Western Dakota Tech began raising these fish earlier this year as a way for students to learn how to raise blue gill and catfish, as well as to give fishermen appropriately sized fish to catch.
“This fits really well into what we’re doing our goals and our mission as a college, also it’s a really neat story to talk about how the funding of education directly affects the community,” said Bryan Mitchell, the co-program director of the controlled environment agriculture program.
By tagging and releasing the fish, students learn more about the natural life cycle of each species.
Mitchell says this can also be a way for those who didn’t know about the college’s ecological programs to learn more.
“Often people don’t really think about technical colleges having careers inside of the environmental sector or the natural resource sector and we have a whole list of programs that are centered around environmental conservation, environmental engineering, and controlled environment AG one of our big focuses in that is the maintenance of our natural resources and our natural resource efficiencies,” said Mitchell.
There isn’t just an incentive to eat these fish either, catching a tagged fish could help pay for school as well.
“Western Dakota Tech is offering a $250 scholarship for any angler that catches them and we would encourage them to look at our controlled environment Ag or our controlled environment engineering projects,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell says if you do catch one of these fish contact the college with the ID number on the tag and the scholarship will be awarded to the angler who catches it.
If that person is unable to accept the scholarship it can be given to a relative or back to the school for any eligible student to receive.
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