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April 26, 2015 (rt23 news) - The 2015 season is expected to provide the normally superb trout fishing opportunities New Jersey anglers have grown to expect and appreciate. The average size of the trout stocked is greater than 10.5 inches, and the Bonus Broodstock Lakes and the breeder stocking programs provide plenty of trophy size fish within a short drive from anywhere in the state. Although snow and ice may continue to blanket the northern portion of the state our stocking trucks began rolling on March 16th on schedule. The late ice and snow melt is making for excellent stream flows this spring and the recent warming trend should help heat things up right before the season opener!

New this year is all Trout Stocking Regulation signs are equipped with QR Codes! With just a quick scan from your smart phone the Division’s entire Spring In-Season stocking schedule will download right to your phone! The schedule is complete with all seven weeks of stocking following Opening Day on April 4, including day of the week and the number of trout stocked. This will help guide anglers to other fishing opportunities throughout the state right from your favorite fishing spot.
Anglers are reminded that as a result of a disease outbreak at the Division’s Pequest Trout Hatchery (2013/2014) the hatchery is now rearing Rainbows only. A silver lining to only Rainbow Trout is that studies have shown that Rainbow Trout are more aggressive and more likely to fall victim to a well-presented lure or baited hook, much to the satisfaction of more trout anglers, particularly on Opening Day.

For those anglers who just love to catch Brown Trout or Brook Trout, there are still opportunities out there. Waterbodies such as the South Branch Raritan River, Pequannock River & Big Flat Brook, (to name a few) have naturally reproducing trout in them that will surprise and delight many lucky anglers with their beautiful markings and coloration. There are also waters in New Jersey that remain cool enough to support trout year round and contain holdover Brook and Brown Trout from previous stockings. Releasing Brook and Brown Trout will help preserve these opportunities well into the future. These trout, in addition to the 570,000 Rainbow Trout stocked this spring from the Pequest Trout Hatchery, will no doubt keep New Jersey as one of the top trout fishing destinations in the East.
Ten lakes receive an additional helping of large broodstock through the State’s Bonus Broodstock program. Each year a different set of waters is selected statewide, and there’s bound to be an opportunity near you. These waterbodies generally receive 30 - 50 of these extra large trout.
The odds of catching a big one are in your favor if you try one of these waters: Amwell Lake (Hunterdon), Barbour’s Pond (Passaic), Echo Lake (Monmouth), Giampetro Park Pond (Cumberland), Holmdel Park Pond (Monmouth), Oak Pond (Camden), Ponderlodge Pond (Cape May), Seeley’s Pond (Union), Spooky Brook Park Pond (Somerset) and Sylvan Lake (Burlington).
Fish and Wildlife will place "Hook-a-Winner" jaw-tags on 1,000 rainbow trout stocked in the spring. Anglers who catch a Hook-a-Winner trout can claim their prize (a certificate and patch) by contacting the Pequest Trout Hatchery 908-637-4173 ext. 113.

Each spring, the Division’s Pequest Trout Hatchery stocks over 570,000 rainbow trout into 90 streams and 88 ponds and lakes located throughout New Jersey. Nearly 1/3 of these trout, 183,000, will await anglers on opening day. No doubt more than a few of the 14-16" trout stocked last fall or winter are alive and well, just waiting to be caught this spring. The majority of trout average 10 inches but large breeders, measuring 15 - 21", and weighing up to 5 pounds are also distributed in the early weeks of the season. The state’s sixteen major trout streams are stocked every week following Opening Day and are closed to fishing from 5 am to 5 pm on the day of stocking to allow the trout a chance to disperse. All other waters are open to fishing on stocking days, following opening day, with most stocked at least three times. Since every county has waters that are stocked with trout, trout fishing opportunities are never too far away.

Don’t forget that a fishing license and trout stamp is required to fish for trout if you are 16 years or older. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 years and older can fish for free. Licenses and stamps may be obtained through one of the many license agents statewide, or online.

Posted by: rt23 staff
April 26, 2015


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