|New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife|
May 15, 2001
As part of National Boating and Fishing Week, June 1-10, the Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced that Saturday and Sunday, June 2 and 3, are this year's annual Free Fishing Days in New Jersey. On these days anyone may fish the Garden State's public waters without a license or trout stamp. All other regulations, including size and daily limits, remain in effect.
"Free Fishing Days are a great opportunity for parents who don't fish to join their children or friends who do," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "We also invite individuals from out of state to take advantage of not having to purchase a license to sample some of the finest freshwater fishing opportunities in the Northeast."
This year, the Division has undertaken a special effort to promote Free Fishing Days through radio and television public service announcements produced in partnership with the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. In addition, banners were placed on selected wildlife management area signs statewide to encourage individuals to visit the website at www.njfishandwildlife.com where a custom page has been set up especially for Free Fishing Days.
Although trout stocking will be over by the end of May, many anglers feel that June is one of the best months for trout fishing. Most of our better, larger trout streams such as the Big Flatbrook, Pequest, Paulinskill, Musconetcong and the South Branch of the Raritan River will still be loaded with trout from the previous two months of stocking. After several weeks in the stream, the condition of trout improves and they look and act more like their wild counterparts. Trout conservation areas are highly recommended, but please abide by the special regulations in effect for these waters.
For beginners who may not be able to attend a class, the Division's website has a wealth of information on how to get started. The page offers information on current regulations, equipment, species fact sheets, valuable links to related fishing sites and much more.
Those who are in need of a place to fish can pick up a copy of the Division's Places To Fish brochure at the nearest Division office or purchase a copy of the Open Spaces and Wild Places map available for an over-the-counter cost of $3. Similar to a road map, it offers wildlife enthusiasts information on accessing public open space in the Garden State and is presented in an informative, easy to read format. Information on where to fish is also available online at the Division's website.
In addition, the International Game Fish Association honors line-class categories in New Jersey. In fact, the categories for brown and rainbow trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass and channel catfish are currently vacant. Any catch over a pound, in any qualifying species could qualify for a New Jersey freshwater line class record recognized by the IGFA. Catch and release is acceptable. For a list of eligible record species and an application form visit www.igfa.org.