17-Year-Old Explains Brook Trout Decline

April 14, 2012 By: Benjamin Clary

Markie Palermo grew up on Lake Champlain instilling a “deep affinity for the lake and nature in general.”  For this reason, she was interested in trying to explain the decline of brook trout on the lake.  Many local anglers alleged that the brown trout had something to do with it, and Palermo intended to prove it so.

Using lab samples from trout, she spent most of last summer in a lab in Plattsburgh, New York discovering that the interbreeding of brook trout and brown trout was decimating the latter’s numbers.  The discovery would be impressive despite the science, but even more amazing is that Palermo is 17 and a junior in high school.  For her efforts she has been nominated for the Green Mountain Environmental Leadership Award.