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Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery Broodstock Collection at Echo Lake
Recreation - News Center

May 03, 2006 (rt23 news) - The Hackettstown Hatchery netting crew from the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife concluded the 2006 broodstock collection season when they pulled their trap nets from Echo Lake Reservoir in Passaic County on April 27th. Four trap nets had been set in that lake on April 18th and were fished for nine days. The overall catch of twenty muskellunge, the target species, consisted of twelve males and eight females. The muskellunge spawning season was at its peak, indicated by the fact that all twenty fish from Echo were ripe at the time of collection. Because the fish were ripe when collected, hatchery workers were able to spawn them immediately upon arrival at the hatchery and quickly return them back to the lake within one or two days. Water temperatures ranged from 48 to 54 degrees over the netting period.

The average sizes of muskellunge collected from Echo Lake were: 43.0 inches and 18.9 pounds for females, and 37.6 inches and 12.2 pounds for males. Ten of the twenty fish captured measured 40 inches or longer. The longest musky was 45.4 inches long; the heaviest weighed 23.5 pounds before spawning. Both were females.

In addition to the twenty muskellunge, hatchery trap nets collected over a thousand other fish of various species. The breakdown of the non-target catch was:

  • Black Crappie (772)
  • Yellow Perch (202)
  • Bluegill (201)
  • Pumpkinseed sunfish (147)
  • Alewife (115)
  • Golden Shiners (33)
  • Chain Pickerel (19)
  • Rock Bass (14)
  • Smallmouth bass (4)
  • Largemouth Bass (1)
  • Yellow Bullhead (1)

For more information contact Craig Lemon at 908-852-4950 or

Posted by: Staff at
May 03, 2006

Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery Broodstock Collection at Echo Lake

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