AHA Students Release Trout Raised in Classroom Into River

AHA Students Release Trout Raised in Classroom Into River

The trout were part of the Trout in the Classroom program at Academy of the Holy Angels.

Ninety-five trout that were raised in a biology classroom at the Academy of the Holy Angels in Demarest, New Jersey, are now swimming in the Saddle River. Environmental science teacher Erica Pritchard guided her class as they evaluated the river and released the fingerlings they cared for throughout this year’s Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program.

TIC students who traveled to Rindlaub Park for the release included Kylee Amato of Bergenfield; Nicolette Angelotti of Franklin Lakes; Allison Asselbergs of Chestnut Ridge, New York; Cristiana Callegari of Upper Saddle River; Julia Creange of Wyckoff; Samantha Danylchuk of Mahwah; Daniella Macri of Fort Lee; Mary Macri of Saugerties, New York; Genevieve McClean of Nutley; Madelyn Menapace of Hawthorne; Paris Palau of Ridgewood; Queen Smith of Teaneck; Caroline Staff of Oradell; Caroline Tolin of River Edge; and Ashley Toscano Vasquez of Fort Lee.

Participating in TIC allowed these young scientists to observe the lifecycle of a trout and learn about fresh water habitats, water chemistry, and the importance of clean, cold water in a healthy ecosystem. TIC programs are available to students at a variety of grade levels.

This is the fifth year Pritchard’s students have raised and released fingerlings. In the fall, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish & Wildlife provided the trout eggs to AHA. Volunteers from Trout Unlimited brought the eggs from the Pequest Trout Hatchery to Holy Angels. The eggs were placed in a tank in the biology classroom where students could observe the growth and development of the fish.

During the year, the environmental science students visited Pequest to learn more about the life cycle and habitat of the trout.

Students cared for the fish until the very last second. The day of the release, the fingerlings were packed into water-filled coolers for transport from Demarest to the Borough of Saddle River. Once the group arrived at Rindlaub Park, the coolers were opened. Prichard advised the students to slowly add a few cups of water from the river to help the fish become acclimated to the temperature.

Prior to the release, students worked in groups to assess the water quality and determine what organisms were present. Once the students completed these bio-assessments, they took turns reaching into the coolers, capturing the trout in a plastic cup, and gently depositing the fish into the river.

There was plenty of levity as each participant coaxed her fish into the cup, and an overall sense of accomplishment among the students as they witnessed the fingerlings exploring their new surroundings.


The Academy of the Holy Angels
315 Hillside Ave.