Local high school students bid farewell to trout they nurtured as part of a conservation effort

high school
A group of local high school students participated in a conservation program with Unlimited Trout, a non-profit dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s cold-water fisheries and their watersheds.
Photo courtesy of the DEP

Bon voyage trout!

A group of local high school students from Queens joined the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and non-profit Trout Unlimited on a trip to release juvenile trout into a river in Westchester County.

Twenty-two High school students from John Bowne High School in Flushing took a trip to the Cross River to release nearly 230 juvenile trout that they had raised in their classrooms. The students had been taking care of the fingerlings since October of last year and cheered on their journey through the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Westchester County and the Cross River Reservoir

In October 2023, over 125 classroom educators joined the “Trout in the Classroom” program’s Fall Teacher Conference and received trout eggs from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Thousands of students across the state worked on an eight-month-long program to incubate the trout eggs and raise them into fingerlings. The program concludes with field trips between March and June of this year, where the students have the opportunity to release the fingerlings into streams. Students also have the opportunity to share their experiences about raising the trout and participate in other environmental activities.  

Since 2002, the DEP and Trout Unlimited have worked together to educate students across New York State about the importance of protecting shared water resources through the Trout in the Classroom program. The program teaches students from pre-K to 12th grade about connections between trout, the New York City water supply system and water quality. Trout Unlimited is a national non-profit organization that works to conserve and restore North America’s cold-water fisheries and their watershed. 

The DEP manages the city’s water supply, providing about 1 billion gallons of drinking water daily to nearly 10 million residents, including 8.5 million in New York City.