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Fall Trout Fishing in New Jersey
Recreation - News Center

September 20, 2006 (rt23 news) - Who hasnít longed to catch an elusive "big one" while trout fishing? Well, this fall the odds definitely favor the angler because Fish and Wildlife will be stocking substantially bigger trout. How big will they be? The fall-stocked trout are two-year old rainbow and brook trout that average 14 to 16 inches, and weigh upwards of two pounds apiece. Previously the fall stocking program consisted of one-year old rainbows, measuring 9 to 10 inches and weighing not quite 1/2 pound.

The bigger trout being produced by Pequest Trout Hatchery are Fish and Wildlifeís response to feedback from anglers wanting bigger fish. The hatchery modified its production cycle in 2004 in order to grow fall (and winter)-stocked trout to a larger size. In addition to the 20,000 trout produced for the fall, another 1,000 lunkers (rainbow trout broodstock, 18 - 20 inches, and weighing 3 - 5 pounds) will be stocked. The broodstock trout will be mixed in with each truckload of fish

New Jersey lakes, ponds and streams slated to be stocked with trout this fall are in good shape, having gotten a boost from unseasonably cool, rainy weather in early September. The seasonís changing colors and fewer anglers afield make fall an especially enjoyable time to fish for trout. This year fall stocking begins Tuesday, October 10 and continues through October 18, during which more than 20,000 trout will be distributed in 16 streams, and 16 lakes and ponds, statewide.

Stocking trout
There are no closed days during fall stocking.
Click to enlarge Waters stocked during the first week of fall stocking are the 16 large streams and rivers in northern and coastal areas, such as the Big Flatbook, Pequest River, South Branch Raritan River, Musconetcong River, and the Manasquan and Tomís Rivers. All fall-stocked waters may be fished as soon as they are stocked (no "closed waters" during fall stocking).

During the second week, 16 ponds and lakes in the central and southern portions of the state are stocked. Some of the more popular waters are Farrington Lake, Oak Pond, Greenwich Lake, and Mary Elmer Lake. The complete list of fall-stocked waters and the stocking schedule is available at or through the Trout Stocking Hotline 609-633-6765.

Other waters offer fine trout fishing opportunities even though they are not stocked in the fall. The Holdover Trout Lakes, like Lake Aeroflex and Lake Wawayanda, provide year round trout fishing opportunities and the landlocked salmon stocked earlier this year in these waters will soon be big enough to harvest. Our two Trophy Trout Lakes, Round Valley and Merrill Creek Reservoirs, are also great trout fishing destinations. Shoreline fishing on Round Valley is particularly popular in the fall, as big rainbows cruise the shallows (See the current Freshwater Digest for special area regulations.) Also, sea run brown trout begin returning to freshwater in the Manasquan River during the fall and early winter.

A distinctly different trout-fishing experience awaits anglers who fish the wild trout streams scattered across north Jersey. These small streams are not stocked with trout and anglers can expect to catch small, colorful trout, with most measuring less than ten inches. Thirty-five streams are managed under special regulations to provide anglers with opportunities to catch stunning, stream-bred trout (see the current Freshwater Digest for information). All trout captured from designated Wild Trout Streams, from September 16, 2006 to April 7, 2007 at 8 a.m. must be released, and be sure to leave the bait buckets home - these streams are artificials only.

Trout fishing will really heat up once fall stocking gets underway. The line-busting, bragging-size trout being stocked in October will test the skills of anglers fishing with lightweight tackle, leaving some anglers with fond memories, to last a lifetime, about the big one that got away. Whether you chose to fish for stocked or wild trout, there are plenty of trout-fishing opportunities in the Garden State. So take the time from your busy schedules to enjoy trout fishing during the splendor of fall.

NOTE: Anglers should take advantage of the Divisionís Angler E-Log to report the results of your fishing outing. We are interested hearing about your fishing experience, whether you were successful or not. Your feedback helps us get a handle on angler interest, activity and satisfaction and in evaluating the success of our programs.

Posted by: Staff at
September 20, 2006

Fall Trout Fishing in New Jersey

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