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Surplus Fish Added to Spring Channel Catfish Stocking Schedule
Recreation - News Center

May 22, 2007 (rt23 news) - The NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery overwintered approximately 3,500 extra 12" channel catfish for stocking this spring. Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologists from the Lebanon Field Office assessed the existing fall channel catfish stocking list made up of about 70 different waterbodies and picked 11 to receive these surplus holdover catfish in 2007.

The newly added waters are ponds and lakes between 11 and 20 acres in size. The original 2007 spring list is made up of 23 waterbodies ranging in size from 1-10 acres, scheduled to receive 3,890 channels. The 3,310 newly added fish brings the total to 7,200. An additional 2,000 - 3,000 channels will be stocked at the 80 children’s fishing derbies held around the state. Derbies are stocked with 20-25 channels per event.

The spring holdovers are the same fish that are stocked as 6-7-inch fingerlings in October of the previous year. They are held in the Hackettstown Hatchery’s Intensive Recircualtion Facility over the winter months and raised in 70-degree water. The fish are about nine to ten months old and average 12 inches by their April and May stocking. By the time July fishing derbies roll around these fish will average about 16 inches and will be one year old. These same fish in the wild would be about 8 or 9 inches.

The Hackettstown Hatchery hopes to continue to produce about 10,000 spring holdover catfish in years to come. Regional fisheries biologists feel that these spring fish are a valuable part of the channel catfish stocking program and are being targeted by many anglers. They have definitely proven themselves at children’s fishing derbies with many catches of channels in the 3-5 pound range. (See the 2006 Children’s Fishing Derby Action photos.)

A new updated list (linked below) includes the surplus lakes shown in bold print. Please report your catches of these channels and any other fish you catch this year to the e-fishing log. Your information is a valuable part of managing fish populations in many of our waters. Channel cat catches can also be reported to the hatchery at

Posted by: Staff at
May 22, 2007

Surplus Fish Added to Spring Channel Catfish Stocking Schedule

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