Today I drove up to the Pequest Hatchery to pick up food and live trout for some of the 25 schools that the Jersey Shore Chapter of Trout Unlimited (JSTU) work with as part of Trout in the Classroom (TIC). TU chapters from the State and the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife partner to bring TIC to 108 schools in New Jersey, of that 25 schools are serviced by the JSTU. In the fall a member goes up to the hatchery to get the eggs and food, and then they meet other members who assist in the delivery. There is a coordinator from each TU chapter who oversees the program and assists their schools however they can. I am the new JSTU TIC coordinator, and this year we've lost (yep dead) more fish than ever. Of our 25 schools, 6 lost all their fish, and 6 had less than 10 survive, and we're not done yet. So, today I picked up about 250 fish for four of the schools who lost all, or killed off, all their fish. I put the fish in the family cooler and ran two aerators into it to keep some oxygen around for the fish. While at the schools I dropped off the next round of food for the bigger fish. The kids were very excited to see trout in their tanks again and the teachers were glad because they enjoy the TIC program. The schools will hold onto the trout until May and then release them in beautiful cold water fishery, for our schools, it's the Manasquan River. Imagine being an egg in the hatchery in the fall and someone approaches the tank with a net, and the guy, or fry, next to you eventually winds up in the Ken Lockwood Gorge or the Flatbrook, and you draw the Manasquan!
While up at the hatchery I snapped a couple of pics of the Pequest River TCA.