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March 23, 2004

COLDWATER FISHERIES FORUM TO BE HELD APRIL 3 AT PEQUEST HATCHERY

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protectionís Division of Fish and Wildlife will host a forum to discuss its recently unveiled Coldwater Fisheries Management Plan. The seminar, entitled ďTalk to the Pros,Ē will be held April 3 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pequest Trout Hatchery & Natural Resource Education Center in Oxford, Warren County.

Professional Division fisheries biologists will be on hand to speak candidly and one-on-one with guests about the draft plan and what it means for trout management in New Jersey. The new plan identifies issues and concerns affecting the future of New Jerseyís coldwater fisheries resources and recreational trout fishing. It also addresses strategies to meet specific goals during the next five years, 10 years and beyond. Biologists will broach such topics as fostering self-sustaining trout populations, habitat protection and enhancement, fish culture and utilization of cultured trout, angler preferences and fishing regulations, fish health, angler access, public outreach, and program funding and staffing.

Public participation is a vital element of the Divisionís strategic planning process and this open forum is intended to give anglers and others an opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions on the future direction of our trout management activities.

The draft plan can be downloaded from the Divisionís website at www.njfishandwildlife.com/cwfmp.htm. Copies are also available for review at the Divisionís Northern, Central and Southern Region field offices, as well as the Lebanon Fisheries Lab, Pequest Trout Hatchery and Trenton office.

Anglers, conservation organizations, government agencies, landowners, business representatives and other stakeholders are encouraged to review the plan and comment. Input will be accepted through May and can be sent to New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Martin J. McHugh at P.O. Box 400, Trenton, NJ 08625-0400.


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