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Programs and Events at the Pequest Trout Hatchery

The public is invited to learn about New Jersey's fish and wildlife resources and ways to enjoy them through special programs and events at Pequest. Take advantage of these unique opportunities and get outdoors!
  • All programs and special events, including parking, are FREE unless otherwise noted.

  • Registration requirements vary by program - see individual programs for details. For registration or information call 908-637-4125 ext. 0.

  • Events are held rain or shine outdoors so dress for the weather.

  • Programs and special events at Pequest are supported through the sale of fishing and hunting licenses and related stamps. In order to help us continue to offer programs and special events, participants are encouraged to purchase a fishing license at the Natural Resource Education Center or online at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com.

  • Open weekends through October.

JULY

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, July 2
9:00 a.m.
Registration opens June 18

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, July 2
12:00 p.m.
Registration opens June 18

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

The Fundamentals of Earthworms & Waste Reduction, and
Vermiculture: The Art & Science of Home-Composting
Sunday, July 10*
10:00 a.m.
Registration now open

Join us for this hands-on workshop to explore the biology of this extremely important yet under-appreciated organism. Find out how they can reduce the amount of land used for sanitary landfills and can clean up contaminants in our soil. Learn why an earthworm's life cycle and bodily functions make them a gardeners' and farmers' best friend, yet a forester's foe.

Decomposition is the breaking-down of organic matter into a nutrient-rich form that can be used by plants and animals. Learn how moisture, air, temperature & light affect the process of decomposition while making your own earthworm bin. Add earthworms to watch how their daily activities of eating, moving-about & excavating play a major role in breaking down organic matter. These workshops are sponsored by a Mansfield Twp. Recycling Grant.
* The earthworm program, originally scheduled for Saturday, July 9, has been combined with Sunday's vermiculture program.

Family Fishing Basics
Tuesday, July 12
10:30 a.m.
Registration opens June 28

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

Sunset Bat Hike
Wednesday, July 13
8:00 p.m.
Registration opens June 29

We've gone batty! Come out for a twilight nature hike on the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Explore natural bat habitat as we hike into the surrounding wilderness. See ideal trees for bat habitat. Watch as bats soar, dive and swoop overhead eating bugs as twilight ushers in another evening. Learn why bats are an important part of our ecosystem and why some species are now endangered. Wear comfortable shoes. For ages 6 and above.

Fly Fishing with Dry Flies
Saturday, July 16
10:00 a.m.
Registration opens July 2

In this course, Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers Pierre Benoist and Jim Flatley will discuss reading a trout stream, basic knots, fishing dry flies and a review of dry fly patterns. After the morning discussion, students will get to test their new knowledge on the Education Pond. This program is the fourth in a series of seven fly fishing/tying classes. Students completing all seven classes will receive a course completion certificate. Those unable to attend all sessions or not wishing to earn a certificate may pick and choose the classes to attend. Students should bring their own equipment if available. Open to anyone 10 years old and above.

Family Fishing Basics
Saturday, July 16
10:30 a.m.
Registration opens July 2

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

World of Amphibians
Saturday, July 23 - CANCELED

Join us as we learn about the world of amphibians. In this program for adults young and old, we will discover where amphibians came from, how they grow up, and their importance in the ecosystem. Amphibians were some of the first animals in history to move onto land, but they still rely on water for major parts of their life cycle. They are key species in their environments not only because they eat bugs and are eaten by top predators, but they also tell us how healthy their environment is. Then, once we learn all of these amazing things about amphibians, we'll go meet some in person at Pequest's own muck pond! Please bring nets if you have them and boots that can get wet.

Presented by Allegra Mitchell, Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteer. Allegra Mitchell completed a Bachelor's degree in Conservation Biology and a Master's degree in Biology at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her Master's degree work on amphibian locomotor performance as it relates to habitat preference is being published in the scientific journal, Functional Ecology. She has led and assisted in multiple research projects on herpetofauna and other groups of species, both domestically and abroad. Allegra also educated her fellow students in herpetology as a teaching assistant at her university. She now shares her knowledge of amphibians through symposia presentations and through volunteering with educational programs in her home state of New Jersey. She is passionate about amphibian conservation and carries this mission with her as she begins her career in wildlife biology.

Family Fishing Basics
Wednesday, July 27
10:30 a.m.
Registration opens July 13

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

One Earth - So Green and Round
Saturday, July 30 - CANCELED

Singer-Songwriters Lydia Adams Davis and Kathy Byers collaborated on an excellent, beautifully honed and much welcomed album of original songs about nature, recycling, animal habitats, global warming, conservation and environmental awareness. Kathy will be performing highlights from the album on her acoustic guitar. Songs may include the sprightly "Shy Raccoon," the appropriately tropical and lyrically transformative "Chameleon," and the easy picking tale of the great northern environment "In Alaska."

We will be treated to tales of the decidedly un-limbed "I Am Snake," the busy "Be a Bumble Bee," and the complexity of ecosystems in "Think About the Ocean." Other favorites include "We Study Frogs" and the pressing question of "Why Do Turtles Cross the Road," answered in the song of the same name. Weather permitting, the program will be held outdoors, but if the weather doesn't cooperate, the program will be held indoors. Please bring a picnic blanket, lunch and or snacks to enjoy while listening to the songs. Albums will be available for sale that day. For album information, please visit www.parents-choice.org/product.cfm?product_id=31108.

Woodland Animal Tracks
Sunday, July 31 - CANCELED

In this class, Amy Mayer will read one of her favorite animal tracks books. She will help you identify deer, bear, raccoon, and rabbit tracks. Participants will be able to put together a short Animal Tracks book and/or make a special treat. Open to kids ages 5-7. Amy is a certified teacher in NJ, a published author of children's books, and an outdoor enthusiast. She lives in a rural corner of NJ with her husband, spirited 3yr. old son, and a 4yr old Lab/German Short-Haired Pointer mix, named Colt. She lost her pup, Trigger, the inspiration to her children's books, in May of 2015.

Trigger and the Baby Pheasant (released March 2014) and Trigger - A Bird Dog in Training (released February 2016) are her published children's books. She is working on her third book in the series.

Amy taught for more than a decade and loves to educate people of all ages. When she is not teaching, she is leading school assemblies, doing book signings, and spending quality time with her family, especially in the outdoors. She also enjoys event planning, cooking, the Jersey Shore, swimming, reading, and of course writing.

AUGUST

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, August 6
9:00 a.m.
Registration opens July 23

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, August 6
12:00 p.m.
Registration opens July 23

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

Family Fishing Basics
Saturday, August 6
10:30 a.m.
Registration CLOSED

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

Hunter Education
Sunday, August 7
8:00 a.m.

Beat the fall rush and get ready for hunting by taking your Hunter Education class at the hatchery. You must have your completed homework with you at the class and be pre-registered. Register for your class at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com. After you pass the class, stop by the front desk and buy your hunting license. Youth hunting licenses are free!

Fly Fishing with Terrestrials and Wet Flies
Saturday, August 13
10:00 a.m.
Registration opens July 30

In this course, Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers Pierre Benoist and Jim Flatley will discuss reading a trout stream, basic knots, fishing terrestrials and wet flies and a review of terrestrial and wet fly patterns. After the morning discussion, students will get to test their new knowledge on the Education Pond. This program is the fifth in a series of seven fly fishing/tying classes. Students completing all seven classes will receive a course completion certificate. Those unable to attend all sessions or not wishing to earn a certificate may pick and choose the classes to attend. Students should bring their own equipment if available. Open to anyone 10 years old and above.

Vanishing Habitats - The Earth Speaks
Sunday, August 14
1:00 p.m.
Registration Open Now

Look and listen very carefully, for the earth is always speaking to us. Sometimes the earths' voice is very quiet, like the imperceptible wearing away of a river valley. Sometimes it is very loud, like an earthquake or volcanic eruption. Sometimes it is very predictable like the seasonal changes. The earths' many voices change and shape our planet, creating habitats. Some plants and animals adapt to these voices or changes and some go the way of the dinosaur. In this program, attendees will learn about some of the earth's many voices, how habitats are created, and how animals and plants must adapt to their environment. For more information, please visit www.jacksearthmatters.com.

Family Fishing Basics
Wednesday, August 17
10:30 a.m.
Registration opens August 3

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

Coldwater Conservation School Day
Saturday, August 20
9:00 a.m.

Youth ages 10-13 will participate in a day-long round robin event where they will study aquatic insects, fly tying, fly casting, and fly fishing for trout in our education pond. This is a joint program between the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife and Trout Unlimited. There is a $25 registration fee which covers the materials and programs for the day. The application and registration fee are due by August 8. For more information and to register visit the Coldwater Conservation School page.

Family Fishing Basics
Friday, August 26
10:30 a.m.
Registration opens August 12

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

Caviar Anyone?
Sunday, August 27
1:00 p.m.
Registration open now

Division employee, Russ Dodge will lead this program on the fish that gives us caviar, the sturgeon. Russ will cover the unique physical and living characteristics of sturgeon and paddlefish, as well as the commercial value of sturgeon. Commercial and recreational fishing for most sturgeon species in the U.S. is closed with two species found in NJ waters now endangered. Open to all ages.

SEPTEMBER

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, September 3
9:00 a.m.
Registration opens August 20

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

Hawk Watch
Saturday, September 3
9:30 a.m.
Registration now open

Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteer and member of the NJ Bluebird Society, Frank Budney, will lead this discussion and lead the hawk watch. Discussion will include why hawks migrate and where they go and where they are from. You will learn to look at distinguishing marks and flight patterns that will help you identify birds in the field and their habitat requirements. Please bring binoculars and a birding field guide if you have one. Open to anyone aged 10 years and above.

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, September 3
12:00 p.m.
Registration opens August 20

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

Family Fishing Basics
Saturday, September 10
10:30 a.m.

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

Hunter Education
Saturday, September 17
8:00 a.m.

The fall rush is on so don't wait any longer - take your Hunter Education class at the hatchery. You must have your completed homework with you at the class and be pre-registered. Register for your class at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com. After you pass the class, stop by the front desk and buy your hunting license. Youth hunting licenses are free!

Family Fishing Basics
Sunday, September 18
10:30 a.m.
Registration opens September 4

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign

Fly Fishing with Emergers and Midges
Saturday, September 24
10:00 a.m.
Registration opens September 10

In this course, Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers Pierre Benoist and Jim Flatley will discuss reading a trout stream, basic knots, fishing emergers and midges and a review of emerger and midge fly patterns. After the morning discussion, students will get to test their new knowledge on the Education Pond. This program is the sixth in a series of seven fly fishing/tying classes. Students completing all seven classes will receive a course completion certificate. Those unable to attend all sessions or not wishing to earn a certificate may pick and choose the classes to attend. Students should bring their own equipment if available. Open to anyone 10 years old and above.

Fly Casting and Fishing for Beginners
Sunday, September 25
10:00 a.m.
Registration opens September 11

Learn the basics of fly casting and fly fishing in this four-hour program run by Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers from Central Jersey Trout Unlimited. Topics will include equipment, knot tying, entomology, stream tactics and casting techniques. This program is geared for ages 10 and above. Adults in the program should have a valid fishing license which can be purchased the day of the event.

OCTOBER

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, October 1
9:00 a.m.
Registration opens September 17

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

Intermediate Fly Tying - Emerger and Cripple patterns for Trout
Saturday, October 1
10:00 a.m.
Registration opens September 17

In this two-hour class, we will cover patterns that represent an insect's vulnerable state of either emergence or the cripple state for mayflies and caddis flies. Being able to tie these patterns will help give anglers an edge when trying to fool finicky trout. We will start with a basic presentation that will help give participants a fundamental understanding of these flies. We will then go on to cover material and hook selection for these patterns. We will learn to tie emerger patterns for both caddis and mayflies as well as cripple mayflies and spent wing caddis. It is an intermediate level class and participants who are 10 years old and above and who have some experience tying flies.

First Saturday Hike
Saturday, October 1
12:00 p.m.
Registration opens September 17

Join Wildlife Conservation Corps member and member of the NJ Woodland Stewards Program, John Hooven in a two-mile guided hike on our trail system. Explore animal tracks and evidence and immerse yourself in a variety of different habitats as you explore the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Open to anyone able to walk 2 miles on moderate trails.

Nocturnal Animals
Sunday, October 2
11:00 a.m.
Registration opens September 18

In this class, Amy Mayer will read one of her favorite Nocturnal Animal tales. Participants will identify animals of the night and animals of the day, complete an art project, and get to make a special treat. Open to kids ages 5-7.

Amy is a certified teacher in NJ, a published author of children's books, and an outdoor enthusiast. She lives in a rural corner of NJ with her husband, spirited 3yr. old son, and a 4yr old Lab/German Short-Haired Pointer mix, named Colt. She lost her pup, Trigger, the inspiration to her children's books, in May of 2015.

Trigger and the Baby Pheasant (released March 2014) and Trigger - A Bird Dog in Training (released February 2016) are her published children's books. She is working on her third book in the series.

Amy taught for over a decade and loves to educate people of all ages. When she is not teaching, she is leading school assemblies, doing book signings, and spending quality time with her family, especially in the outdoors. She also enjoys event planning, cooking, the Jersey Shore, swimming, reading, and of course writing.

Intermediate Fly Tying: Flies for Great Lakes Steelhead
Saturday, October 8
10:00 a.m.
Registration opens September 24

In this class we will learn effective patterns for Great Lakes Steelhead. Patterns that will be covered include egg, nymph and baitfish patterns. We will cover material and hook selection for these patterns as well as techniques for rigging and fishing them. This class will last approximately two hours and will be limited to ten participants. It is an intermediate level class and participants should be 10 years old and above and have some experience tying flies.

Rizzo's Reptile Discovery
Sunday, October 9
2:00 p.m.
Registration Open Now

This show will blend nature, environment and conservation to teach you how humans impact the environment. Meet various animals and reptiles to understand what we can do to help save the earth. The Discover Green program teaches us to CARE (Conserve, Awareness, Recycling, Environment) about our planet. Conservation starts with awareness and recycling to save the environment! For more information about Rizzo's Reptile Discovery, visit www.rizzoswildlife.com.

Fly Tying Basics
Saturday, October 15
10:00 a.m.
Registration opens October 1

In this fly tying class, Wildlife Conservation Corps volunteers Pierre Benoist and Jim Flatley will discuss basic fly tying techniques and equipment, as well as teach you how to tie some basic beginner flies. This program is the last class in a series of seven fly fishing/tying classes. Students completing all seven classes will receive a course completion certificate. Those unable to attend all sessions or not wishing to earn a certificate may pick and choose the classes to attend. Students should bring their own equipment if available. Open to anyone 10 years old and above.

Family Fishing Basics
Saturday, October 15
10:30 a.m.
Registration opens October 1

Learn the basics of fishing in this hands-on session. Topics will include fish biology and identification, casting techniques, equipment, knot tying and more. Discussions will be followed by an actual trout fishing experience in our Education Pond. This program is geared for ages 8 years and above. Younger children are welcome to participate with direct adult assistance. All equipment is provided for the program. You supply the nightcrawlers. We recommend that at least one adult per family has a fishing license, so come a few minutes early and buy yours at the front desk when you sign in.

Hunter Education
Sunday, October 16
8:00 a.m.

The fall rush is on so get ready for hunting NOW by taking your Hunter Education class at the hatchery. You must have your completed homework with you at the class and be pre-registered. Register for your class at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com. After you pass the class, stop by the front desk and buy your hunting license. Youth hunting licenses are free!

NOVEMBER

Hunter Education
Sunday, November 20
8:00 a.m.

Last chance to get ready for hunting by taking your Hunter Education class at the hatchery. You must have your completed homework with you at the class and be pre-registered. Register for your class at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com. After you pass the class, stop by the front desk and buy your hunting license. Youth hunting licenses are free!

 

Weather fans take note: The Pequest Trout Hatchery has become the newest link in Rutgers University's weather station network. The hatchery is now the site of one of 13 stations throughout the state that feed data to the state's weather and climate monitoring system. To view current weather conditions visit: www.njweather.org/station/1029.

The Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center is located on Rt. 46 nine miles west of Hackettstown in scenic Warren County. On-line directions are available. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) and admission is free.

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Last Updated: July 29, 2016