For several years, the children have helped to conserve the powan, a fish found only in Loch Eck and Loch Lomond. It is being threatened in Loch Lomond by the ruffe, a predatory fish, which was accidentally introduced into Loch Lomond in 1982. Each year, the children look after some powan eggs in a tank in their classroom. The eggs are sensitive to water temperature and if the water warms up, they may hatch too soon. As soon as the fish hatch, they have to be released into the Loch, as they can’t be fed in the tank. To prevent early hatching, the water in the tank has to be kept at below 4 degrees C, which means the children have to be very dedicated, changing bottles full of ice that are used to cool the water in the tank - even at weekends!
Luss Primary’s Headteacher CarolAnne Strutters said: “The children were thrilled to have won this award and were all very excited about flying to London. Some have never flown before, so this has been a big adventure!
Our work with the Fisheries Trust offers the children a real-life experience of saving an endangered species in their local environment. The children monitor the tank carefully and are delighted when we have little fish. Having kept the eggs for weeks, they have to release them immediately they hatch so the children don't get to see them swimming around for long.
By watching the powan in the classroom hatch we have seen that they all hatch the same way, tails out first. This is something that no-one else knew. Although we have had eggs for several years now it's always a thrill to see the fish hatch and to watch them swim away into the loch.”