Skip to Content

Mackay High School opens new fish lab

MACKAY, Idaho (KIFI) - After five years of work, Mackay High School has completed its new fish lab. Teachers say this new lab is unlike any other in the state, mainly due to the unique recirculation  system.

"We do have trout in the classroom projects that the Forest Service in Idaho, Fish and Game, and others contribute too. But those involve generally relatively small aquariums that are actually in the classroom," National Forest Service Fish Biologist Bart Gamett said. "This is the only facility like this in a high school anywhere in the state of Idaho."

The lab was funded by grants and donations, and built by student and community volunteers. Students were so hand's on, they built the system behind the lab.

"We had to get every hole exactly right so that the air could filter into the water so the fish can breathe," student Gabriel Huish said. "There are a lot of very many pipes back there, and so we had to get every piece glued exactly right, or else it wouldn't work."

But unlike other school aquaculture programs, students at Mackay won't just learn how to care for the fish but how to build and maintain the lab's aquaculture system. This is so unique, Huish transferred from home school to specifically take this program.

"I would like to be a marine biologist someday," Huish said. "I know it's a big goal, but I think that if I can work hard and really understand what this is trying to teach us, I could achieve my goal and go into that line of work."

And Mackay High School students have a history of success in the school's aquaculture program.

"The students here at Mackey High School have accomplished some very significant things. One of those was establishing a golden trout fishery in a stream near Mackey in 2014," Gamett said. "One of the students here got some surplus golden trout from the Idaho Department of Fish and Games McKee Hatchery... She released them into Lower Cedar Creek. That release was successful at establishing a golden trout population and a lot of people now come there to catch golden trout."

The national forest service plans for Mackay High School to stock the lower cedar creek with trout this spring and hopefully for years to come.

Article Topic Follows: Idaho

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Seth Ratliff

Seth is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


KIFI Local News 8 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content