PINEWOOD, Minn.-About 60 students from the fifth-grade class at Gene Dillon Elementary in Bemidji released rainbow trout into the Clearwater River near Pinewood on Wednesday.

Students in Jeff Wade's and Alison Tisdell's classes at the elementary school have been raising and studying the trout since December. The project is part of the "Trout in the Classroom" program organized by school staff, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and Trout Unlimited, a nonprofit organization that works to conserve coldwater fisheries and watersheds.

Before the fish could be released into the river, the water in the cooler used to transport the trout to the site needed to be tempered, so the cool water did not shock the fish as they were released.

Every few minutes, students would add in a little bit of water from the river, to slowly bring down the temperature in the cooler. While they waited, Bob Wagner, president of the local Trout Unlimited chapter, spoke to the children about watersheds.

Once the water in the cooler was roughly the same temperature as the river, the students were handed a small plastic cup each containing a fish or two floating inside to release into the river.