MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Austin Road Elementary students learned a powerful lesson about the environment and the local watershed earlier this month when they released 63 brown trout fingerlings they had raised into a stream in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.

Mary Jean Cerbini’s fifth-grade class took part in an outreach program for schools that get students involved with conservation science and the idea of maintaining a healthy watershed in New York State.  The students raised the trout from eggs starting back in October 2016. For the past eight months, the students cared for the trout by maintaining their water quality through a regular chemical analysis of various water properties while providing constant water movement to mimic the trout’s natural habitat. 

Thanks to a grant that Cerbini received from the Candreva Science Foundation, she was able to purchase an expensive chiller to keep the trout’s water temperature at a constant 55 degrees.

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“A student releasing a trout into its natural environment is a powerful way to make a direct connection with the watershed and show that they are stewards of their own future,” Cerbini said.

Article courtesy of Mary Jean Cerbini.