Little Bulldogs release tiny trout

By TED WADDELL
Posted 5/18/22

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — On May 12, 70-some Sullivan West elementary school kids released 500 brown trout fingerlings into the cold, pristine waters of Callicoon Creek.

The school is partnered …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Little Bulldogs release tiny trout

Posted

JEFFERSONVILLE, NY — On May 12, 70-some Sullivan West elementary school kids released 500 brown trout fingerlings into the cold, pristine waters of Callicoon Creek.

The school is partnered with the Upper Delaware chapter of Trout Unlimited.

The event, in its 15th year in Sullivan West, is connected to Trout Unlimited’s national Trout in the Classroom project. It was sponsored by the local Trout Unlimited chapter, Jeff Bank and by Jim Hughson, in memory of his beloved daughter Lauren.

The program started in the fall as students raised the fingerlings from eggs, nurtured their development, and culminated with the release of the diminutive trout into the wilds.

The release happens under the ever-watchful eye of an adult American eagle, which, as local lore has it, is known for circling overhead during the scheduled day of release.

The event has featured hands-on fly-casting demonstrations, a talk by National Park Service (NPS) ranger Payten Nekich on how eagles are important to the river ecosystem, a demonstration by NPS biological science technician Allegra Gossett that focused on the local watershed, and spirited music by Ira Mcintosh.

The Sullivan West Trout in the Classroom program included several fifth-grade teachers: Sue Mullally, Wendy Kraack, John Meyer, Chris Hawkins, Heather Cossack, Judy Hendrickson and Kara Parisi.

Helping to keep the trout under control and presumably the eagle at bay, was Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Markus Pratti, the Sullivan West school resource officer.

Andy Boyar, a dedicated fly-fisherman for going on five decades, serves as chairman of the local Trout Unlimited chapter. He said that since the trout-release partnership began at the Sullivan West elementary school, close to 1,000 kids “learned to handle a fly rod and go into society  with a better appreciation of nature.”

Asked about the allure of fly-fishing, Boyar replied, “It gets you into the most beautiful places in nature… being involved in nature, that’s what it’s all about.”

Another Trout Unlimited member, Peter Kolesar, was recently awarded the Catskill Fly Fishing Center and Museum’s prestigious Lee Wulff Conservation Award. He has studied river flow and management of the Upper Delaware River. After watching the students release the fingerlings into Callicoon Creek, he commented, “To see them swim away, it’s very, very joyful… every year, when the eagle appears overhead while we’re releasing the fish, the kids get so excited.”

Pam Reinhardt of Trout Unlimited serves as coordinator of the school’s Trout in the Classroom project.

“The purpose of the program is to teach our children the importance of keeping our environment safe, so the fish can live here in their natural habitat,” she explained. “We don’t want to lose that… our mission is to protect and preserve our cold-water fisheries.”

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here