Projects‎ > ‎

Trout in the Classroom

Trout In the Classroom (TIC) provides students from K-12 a perspective of our environment by raising trout from eggs.  The teacher adapts the program to complement classes in science, social studies, and mathematics. Students learn about the environment by monitoring water quality, studying stream habitat, and increase awareness of water resources.  The school year ends by releasing trout in a nearby watershed or a state-approved stream.

Fred S. Burroughs North Jersey TU Chapter sponsors or forms partnerships with schools in our area.  Members volunteer by monitoring the programs and offer advice. To learn more, visit the TIC website by clicking here.

October 13, 2016 is TIC Egg Day!

posted Dec 15, 2016, 7:32 AM by Mike Balogh

On Thursday, October 13, seven Fred S. Burroughs volunteers will be delivering fertilized rainbow trout eggs to twenty-three teachers in as many schools participating in this year's Trout in the Classroom (TIC) program. The eggs will be ready at 9 AM at the Pequest Trout Hatchery, from where the volunteers will fan out across the Northern New Jersey area with their precious cargo. To have so many members of our chapter offering up their time and energy for this great cause is nothing more than fantastic. This even more so since another group of chapter volunteers also will be busy helping with float stocking the Flatbrook on the same day, followed on October 14 by another day of volunteering at a planting event at the Glen Brook in Sparta NJ. This event is held in cooperation with a class of the Pope John XXIII Regional High School of Sparta, NJ. Thank you to all who make our Chapter so very much alive and well!

The agony of assigning the egg delivery routes and volunteers

Re-Stocking of TIC Tanks scheduled for Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at 10 AM

posted Jan 13, 2016, 7:57 AM by North Jersey TU

I just received word from Jessica Griglak at the Pequest Trout Hatchery , that the following TU North schools suffered a complete loss of fish and need to be re-stocked. Date given for this event is Wednesday, January 27, 10 AM at the hatchery.

If any of you are interested in helping to deliver replacement fish to these schools, please let me know. I then will get a final delivery schedule together. I really only need perhaps one or two helpers. I can do Rockaway or Mt. Arlington and West Milford. My contact information is, or you may give me a call at 973-222-4559.

Thanks for getting back to me.


Chris Hitzel, Green Hills School, Greendell,    
Kelly Lowin   Sussex Middle School, Sussex,  
Michael Malakuskie   Mt. Arlington Public Schools, Mt. Arlington   
Stefana Niemo    Morris Hills Regional School District,  Rockaway,    
Justin  Runne   Maple Road School, West Milford,   

Trout in the Classroom In Review

posted Oct 9, 2015, 7:05 AM by Mike Balogh

This is my 8th year with the TIC program and it never ceases to amaze me to see how far we have come, how much support we have and how many people are reached each year through the program.

Trout in the Classroom is a science-based program that teaches children about the
importance of coldwater conservation through a hands-on approach to learning. Through the process of raising brook trout from eggs to fingerlings, the size they are at release time, students learn about the importance of clean, cold water, not only for the brook trout they are raising, but also for the other organisms, including people.

The Trout in the Classroom program (TIC) began in New Jersey in 1991 and was known as the Brook Trout Bunch. There was one school participating in the program at the time. The Brook Trout Bunch ran for a few years, until the teacher coordinating the program moved. During the time that the program was active, the students successfully lobbied to have the brook trout named as New Jersey’s state fish.

After the teacher moved, the tank and the program also relocated - from Jefferson and then to Sparta. For the next few years, this was the only program in the state.

In 2006, Trout Unlimited realized the value of this unique program and adopted it in the hopes of making it grow. Run on a volunteer basis, the program grew from one school to twenty-three schools in 2006. The following year, the program
grew by an additional thirty-five schools. In late winter of 2008, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife began coordinating the program when Trout Unlimited realized that they couldn’t continue to grow the program on a volunteer basis. For the 2008-2009 school year, the program grew by an additional thirty schools, making a total of eighty-nine participating schools. In 2009, the numbers of schools participating in the program grew to 103 schools. The program continues to grow yearly. This year, there are 143 participating classrooms in 134 schools.

There are schools from nineteen of New Jersey’s twenty-one counties participating in the program, including some of the most urbanized counties in New Jersey. Click on this link to see the locations of our schools throughout the state, as well as the approved TIC release sites -

This program exposes students to the importance of cold water from rural areas to major cities of New Jersey and unites them in their quest for understanding the importance of our coldwater
resources. Altogether, there are more than 14,400 students participating in the program and more than 10,000 adults are exposed to the program annually through our partners at the Freehold Soil Conservation District and Ocean County Soil Conservation Districts, Manasquan Environmental Center and Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center.

Trout Unlimited plays a vital role in the success of the program. This year 49 volunteers from NJ’s 10 chapters of Trout Unlimited delivered rainbow trout eggs to all the participating schools around the state – all in one day! The eggs are supplied free of charge from the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s state of the art Pequest Trout Hatchery. Three full time staff members spent about 1.5 hours packing the eggs for Egg Day. This year, each school received approximately 350 rainbow trout eggs. With 143 participating classrooms, volunteers delivered more than 50,000 eggs and fish food to participating schools around the state.

Jessica Griglak, Senior Biologist, Education
NJ Division of Fish and Game


posted Jun 24, 2015, 7:12 AM by North Jersey TU   [ updated Jun 24, 2015, 7:16 AM ]

Ms. Denise Docherty provided us with a YouTube video clip of her Vernon Walnut Ridge Primary School kids releasing their rainbow trouts into Waywayanda Creek. Enjoy.
Thank you, Denise.

2014/2015 TIC Season Ends

posted May 22, 2015, 5:34 PM by North Jersey TU   [ updated Jun 17, 2015, 5:45 AM by Mike Balogh ]

The 2014/15 TIC season is coming to an end. In these last remaining weeks, participating schools have, or will be receiving their onion sacks and teach macroinvertebrates studies in their science class rooms. Some schools already have released their rainbow trouts into the wild, and others are about to do so shortly. This past TIC season has been outstanding, and just about all of our schools had great success with raising their fish from eggs to fingerlings.

All that remains to be done for me, is to thank all the North Jersey Chapter TU volunteers, who made it all happen. Without your help and giving of your time, there would have been no trout eggs in the classrooms, no fry to feed and care for, no dirty student hands from digging through the onion sacks, and no fingerlings to release into the wild. And last, but not least, no looking forward to this coming October, when we get to do it all over anew. THANK YOU ALL.

Willi Huber

PS. See below. I received this e-mail invitation from Denise Docherty of the Walnut Ridge Primary School in Vernon, who will be releasing their trout this coming May 30. This invitation extends to any TU North member who is interested.


Good Morning Willi,

Following is the e-mail that I sent to our faculty regarding the Walnut Ridge Primary School annual trout release. Included is the invitation that first grade students take home in the trout life cycle booklets that they've created during the year. We have over 100 trout (my estimate) and usually have about 70 attendees when we release them.

Hope to see you,

In October we received rainbow trout eggs from the Pequest Hatchery as part of the “Trout in the Classroom” program co-sponsored by NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited. Students have enjoyed watching the fish develop from the egg stage into fingerling trout ready to be released into the wild. Walnut Ridge students and their families are invited to join Mrs. Docherty as we release the trout that we raised in the artroom into Wawayanda Creek right here in our beautiful valley on Saturday, May 30, 2015 at 9:00 AM. Park near the bridge on Prices Switch Road approximately .4 mile in from Route 94 and walk into the dirt road on the left (marked with balloons and the wooden fish from the artroom) to the Public Access Point to the creek.

Onion Sack Time!

posted Apr 20, 2015, 5:59 AM by Mike Balogh

Every year, mid-April signals it's time for the macroinvertebrates studies in the participating class rooms. We usually refer to this educational program as the "Onion Sacks".

In short, onion sacks are filled with old leaves and twigs, weighted down with rocks, and then placed into stream beds, where they become populated with macroinvertebrates (trout food), that live in the streams. After two weeks or so, the volunteers remove the sacks and deliver them to the participating schools. Once in the classrooms, the students open the (unappetizing) bags, and begin to search for, and identify the various bugs, using magnifying glasses and microscopes. Always a day that is looked forward to with great anticipation.

This year we have six schools in the program. They are: Mt. Arlington Public School, Hopatcong Middle School, Jefferson Township Middle School, Oakland's Indian Hills High School, Sparta Middle School and Sussex Middle School.

In a few weeks, the students will be releasing all their rainbow fingerlings into designated streams. This then will mark the end of another successful TIC season.

Many thanks to all that helped make it happen.

Talk to you again in the fall.

Willi Huber

TIC on TV!

posted Mar 6, 2015, 6:30 AM by Mike Balogh

Hi Everyone!

I am so excited about this email from Lori at Van Holten School in Bridgewater.

The Trout in the Classroom program at Van Holten School in Bridgewater was featured on Classroom Close Up on NJTV yesterday. The segment can be found here It will also air this coming Sunday on NJTV at 7:30am, 12:30pm and 7:30 pm and again at the same times on April 5 and April 11.

Congratulations Lori and team on a job well done!

Jessica M. Griglak
Senior Biologist, Education
605 Pequest Rd.
Oxford, NJ 07863

Re-supply of Trout

posted Jan 26, 2015, 9:25 AM by Mike Balogh   [ updated Jan 28, 2015, 11:07 AM ]

On January 29, two of FSB North New Jersey TU's TIC schools will receive a new supply of rainbow trout fry. Volunteers from our chapter will be picking up the fish at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and delivering them to both the Green Hills School in Greendell, NJ and the Macopin School in West Milford, NJ. I wish you all could experience the excitement that erupts in the class rooms, when the new fish arrive!

In preparing for the delivery, I came across the TIC page that Jeanne Rennalls has put up on her school's web site. Very nice! I thought I would share it with all of you.

P.S. One additional school just got added to receive replacement fish: Morris High in Rockaway, NJ

Loss of Fish in the TIC Schools

posted Dec 8, 2014, 6:20 AM by Mike Balogh

Jessica Griglak, the State TIC Coordinator reports, that state-wide a good number (some 15 or 20) of this year's TIC schools have suffered fish losses. Some of the schools have already lost their entire tank full of fish. We know of two schools who experienced power outages, one that never added bacteria, another one that experienced a chiller malfunction, and the rest were most likely ammonia spikes over the Thanksgiving break.

Two of the affected schools are part of our chapter's responsibility. They are Greenhills School in Greendell, and Macopin School in West Milford. All these schools will be receiving a re-supply of fry from the Pequest Trout Hatchery. This will happen in early January, since further fish losses are anticipated to happen during the upcoming winter break. All for now!

Willi Huber

1-10 of 19