Humans commute into New York City from our northern suburbs every single day. But a Brookyn-raised fish traveling to Westchester? Fuggedaboutit! Leave it to the students at Poly Prep in Dyker Heights who breathed new life, in the form of trout, into Westchester’s Croton Reservoir.
“Poly’s Trout Project is based on Trout in the Classroom, a national model for bringing trout into schools to teach about watersheds and the importance of water quality,” according to Poly Prep’s website. “As part of Poly’s “Blue and Green Goes Green!” initiative, students used the Trout Project as an opportunity to discuss ecological issues like pollution.”
After being raised from eggs and studied as they grew into small fish, known as fingerlings, the trout were ready to join their scaly brethren in nature. Well, not yet. As the ‘canary in the coal mine‘ of our waterways, trout are particularly sensitive to toxins.
First, the students had to test the water quality to make sure the Croton was a safe enough environment for the fish to live in. Prior to leaving their fish free to frolic, PH and oxygen levels had to be taken. The results were duly noted by both pupil and instructor.
In the end, it was the students who had final say in whether or not the trout would be released. The answer? A very enthusiastic yes.