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Fall Trout Fishing in New Jersey


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The fall trout season has continued to grow in popularity in New Jersey, particularly since 2006 when the Division began stocking only larger two-year old trout for the fall. The big fish, cool water, great weather and spectacular scenery combined to make the fall season what many consider to be New Jersey’s premium trout fishing season.

After a scaled-back stocking in 2014, the full complement of approximately 20,000 two-year old Rainbow Trout, averaging 14 to 22 inches, will be stocked in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds once again this fall. As the majority of streams stocked in the fall support holdover trout fisheries, these waters provide anglers opportunities for larger trout to be caught.

Fall stocking begins Tuesday, October 13 in 2015. All trout are raised at the division's Pequest Trout Hatchery.

Fall fly fisherman
Enjoy the magic of fall trout fishing!
Click to enlarge

Waters stocked during the first week of fall stocking are the 16 large streams and rivers in northern and coastal areas, such as the Big Flatbook, Pequest River, South Branch Raritan River, Musconetcong River, and the Manasquan and Toms Rivers. During the second week, 15 ponds and lakes in the central and southern portions of the state are stocked. All fall-stocked waters may be fished as soon as they are stocked (no "closed waters" during fall stocking).

Click to enlarge
Photo by Tom Pagliaroli

The complete list of fall-stocked waters and the stocking schedule will be available at or through the Trout Stocking Hotline 609-633-6765. If you need help finding one of these trout-stocked waters, refer to the list of fishing access locations linked below for driving directions.

Other waters offer fine trout fishing opportunities even though they are not stocked in the fall. The Holdover Trout Lakes, like Lake Aeroflex and Lake Wawayanda, provide year round trout fishing opportunities. Those waters, along with Tilcon Lake in Allamuchy Mountain State Park, are included in the landlocked salmon stocking program, now in its 9th year. All three yield harvestable size salmon (12 inches).

Our two Trophy Trout Lakes, Round Valley and Merrill Creek Reservoirs, are also great trout fishing destinations. Shoreline fishing on Round Valley is particularly popular in the fall, as big rainbows cruise the shallows (See the current Freshwater Digest for special area regulations.) Also, sea run brown trout begin returning to freshwater in the Manasquan River during the fall and early winter.

Trout fishing will really heat up once fall stocking gets underway. The line-busting, bragging-size trout being stocked in October will test the skills of anglers fishing with lightweight tackle, leaving some anglers with fond memories, to last a lifetime, about the big one that got away. Whether you chose to fish for stocked or wild trout, there are plenty of trout-fishing opportunities in the Garden State. So take the time from your busy schedules to enjoy trout fishing during the splendor of fall.


arrow Trout Fishing in New Jersey
arrow Fishing Access to NJ Trout Waters - Alphabetical Listing
arrow Fishing Access to NJ Trout Waters - Listed by County
arrow Sea Run Brown Trout
arrow Landlocked Salmon in New Jersey
arrow Pequest Hatchery Stocking Video - Video
arrow Fishing Regulations
arrow Wildlife Management Areas
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Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 30, 2015