The Winter Trout Stocked Lakes Program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protections (DEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife and is entering its sixth year. The highly successful program provides additional opportunities for Garden State anglers during the late fall and winter months by providing trout outside the regular spring and fall stocking seasons.
The trout are raised at the Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County, where the regular season trout are also raised.
Wintertime trout anglers eagerly await the stocking of trout in their favorite lake or pond. Although much of the winter fishing activity on these areas occurs during open water or unfrozen periods, many anglers look forward to the opportunity to catch trout through the ice.
In North Jersey, safe ice is usually present on most of the stocked water bodies during the winter. However, some of the parks where trout are stocked, particularly in the urban areas, prohibit ice fishing. Anglers should check with the individual park office regarding their regulations on ice fishing.
Proven methods for catching trout through the ice are using tip-ups with powerbait or fathead minnows, and jigging with small jigs or ice jigging flies. Traditional baits like worms, fathead minnows, meal worms and powerbait fished on the bottom during open water work well for those fishing from shore.
Green Turtle Pond, a 40 acre lake located on the Divisions Wanaque Wildlife Management Area was a new addition to the program last year. The stocking was well received and anglers took advantage of the good ice conditions last winter. Numerous reports of ice fishermens success at Green Turtle Pond were received. Results of a tagging study conducted at the pond indicated a total harvest of 19.1 percent based on the tag returns. Ice fisherman returned thirty-eight percent of that total. Spring anglers took advantage of the many remaining trout as indicated by the large percentage (57%) of tags that were returned after opening day.
In addition to the opportunities afforded by this stocking program to trout anglers in lakes, trout fishing prospects in the major streams should continue to be very good throughout the late fall period. Heavy rains that fell for a prolonged period immediately following the fall stocking restricted fishing opportunities for quite a while. Water levels in these streams have come down and fishing conditions are excellent.
Due to the high water and poor fishing conditions early in the fall season many trout remain in these streams and are spread out. Stream anglers should take advantage of the good numbers of trout remaining, many of which were stocked at a larger size than usual.
Anglers should pick up a copy of the Freshwater Fishing Issue of the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest and familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations pertaining to their chosen fishing hole. The Digest as well as other information about fishing in New Jersey is also available online linked from www.njfishandwildlife.com/fishing_fresh.htm.
The following list contains winter trout stocking information. A total of 24 lakes geographically distributed throughout the state will be stocked with 12,940 rainbow trout averaging 11 inches in length. Stocked lakes range in size from five to 100 acres and have shoreline access and/or boat launching sites. The smaller waterbodies (i.e., Rowands Pond, Verona Park Pond and Ocquittunk Lake) have a higher success rate for catching trout than larger lakes such as Furnace Lake, Little Swartswood Lake and Aeroflex Lake.
Whatever stocked water body you choose to fish, one thing is certain - there will be rainbow trout waiting. Thanks to the DEPs Division of Fish and Wildlife, anglers suffering from freshwater fishing withdrawal need not succumb to the winter fishing blues any longer.
Below is the list of waters being stocked with numbers of trout.
WINTER TROUT STOCKING SCHEDULE 2005
Monday, November 21
Hooks Creek Lake - 520
Spring Lake - 480
Topenemus Lake - 470
Lake Shenandoah - 580
Green Turtle Pond - 770
Lake Ocquittunk - 500
Little Swartswood - 1,000
Lake Aeroflex - 1,000
Silver Lake - 600
Tuesday, November 22
Birch Grove Park Pond - 460
Mill Pond - 400
Haddon Lake - 480
Rowands Pond - 250
Shaws Mill Pond - 510
Verona Park Pond - 500
Mullica Hill Pond - 410
Woodcliff Lake - 510
Mt. Hope Pond - 410
Barbours Pond - 420
Riverview Beach Pond - 420
Wednesday, November 23
Amwell Lake - 410
Speedwell Lake - 520
Lower Echo Lake - 420
Furnace Lake - 900 Posted by: Staff at rt23.com
November 09, 2005
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