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Jul 19, 2022

Red Bank Regional High School Students Conduct Trout Release

By Les Pierce

Kelly Garcia-Avila releases a trout.

Members of the RBR Environmental Club recently conducted a trout release in cooperation with the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife program. A total of 18 students participated in the project.

Seventy-seven rainbow trout were released at Pine Brook in Tinton Falls on June 16.  

The venture was managed over several months. The eggs were fertilized on Sept. 21 and received from the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Hatchery in Peaquest on Oct. 18.

According to the Environmental Club Advisor David Hussey, the eggs were contained within a basket in a fish tank. “The students examined the eggs daily and were careful to detect and remove dead eggs as they can promote fungal growth that is harmful to the healthy eggs,” Hussey said.  

Three club members – Mollie Sibilia, Andy Garcia and Jack Glassberg – worked as aquaculture technicians during the year. They regularly tested water quality and temperature, performed filter maintenance and were responsible for feeding.

The eggs began hatching on Nov. 8, and within a week, all of the eggs had hatched. The hatchlings then went through stages of development.  

They began in the alevin stage in which they fed from an attached yolk sac. Once their yolk sac was emptied, they entered the fry stage and are fed twice daily. During the fingerling stage, they grew to three inches in length and were then ready to be released.  

“The students at RBR were incredibly invested in these fish,” Hussey said. “Many students would come visit them to see how they were developing and get a chance to feed them. We also achieved a large following for an Instagram account which regularly featured videos of the trout. Bringing this project to RBR has been an incredibly rewarding experience.”