County Prep’s Aquaculture class with Mr. LaVolpe, Ms. Szymanski, Anthony Hastings, Mr. Aguiar visited the Charles O. Hayford State Fish Hatchery in Hackettstown, NJ. County Prep developed a partnership with the Hatchery back in the 2012 – 2013 school year. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife run the day-to-day operations at the hatchery under the management of Mr. Craig Lemon and Mr. James Hartobey.
In the beginning of the school year, Mr. Lemon and Mr. Hartobey were able to provide the classroom with live samples of New Jersey’s various freshwater fish such as: Channel Catfish, Brown Bullhead, and Bluegill Sunfish. During the year, the aquaculture students care for the fish by testing water samples and making the necessary corrections so that the fish can thrive in a healthy ecosystem. Upon the completion of the course, the fish samples are released at various sites that are approved by the hatchery.
Mr. Lemon and Mr. Hartobey continue to support County Prep’s vision and extended another invitation for the students to tour their facility for the 2nd annual field trip. During the tour, students had the opportunity to observe the daily operations of the hatchery. Upon the completion of the tour, students had the opportunity to fish in multiple educational ponds. After the experience, students were able to develop a greater appreciation for recreational fishing in New Jersey. The students and the hatchery remain committed to the enhancement of environmental education both in the school and in the community.