Rainbow trout got the chance to swim in the wild for the first time in the American River Tuesday and local students got the chance to watch the release in action.
Hundreds of rainbow trout raised in Gold River were released into the American River on Tuesday in the community of Silver Fork.
Helping the biologists with the large task -- about 30 children who really love science.
"I am really excited to be here because this is an opportunity not a lot of people get to experience," fifth-grader Divvy Mamidi said.
"I love nature science because it's more hands on science than some other types of science," said student Maddison Sweet.
These kids are the top winners of the Nature Bowl, a science competition sponsored by the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
They beat out more than 700 students on 110 teams competing in different nature challenges.
The top three teams got to come to the American River trout hatchery for a day of learning and fun.
The children released about 1,600 fish into the American river by hand -- using nets and buckets. They also got to experience how the drought affects the fish and why it is important to conserve water.
"Drought is affecting the fish, lower lake levels, higher water temperature, lowering oxygen levels, increased levels of disease and parasites, among other things," said Steven Schnider with the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
In the event, the event was also about inspiring young children to continue their love of science.
Maybe someday they'll become the next generation of California Fish and Wildlife biologists.
"I like science a lot I like it in school and I am thinking about doing science for a career maybe," student Ethan Rezentes said.
"I am really interested in marine biology right now," Mamid said.