APRIL 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

From Classroom to Current: Trout Raised at AHA Swim Free

Demarest, NJ: Ninety-five trout that were raised in a biology classroom at the Academy of the Holy Angels 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 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, including the more complex curriculum used at AHA.

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.

The Angels care for the fish until the very last second. The day of the release, the fingerlings are packed into water-filled coolers for transport from Demarest to the Borough of Saddle River. Once the group arrives at Rindlaub Park, the coolers are opened. Prichard advises 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 work in groups to assess the water quality and determine what organisms are present. Once the students complete these bio-assessments, they take turns reaching into the coolers, capturing the trout in a plastic cup, and gently depositing the fish into the river.

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

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


Academy of the Holy Angels

315 Hillside Avenue Contact Us & Driving Directions

Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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