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news releases

April 1, 2004

Contact: Erin Phalon
(609) 984-1795


(04/30) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today reminded New Jersey trout enthusiasts that trout season officially begins in all waters open to public angling on Saturday, April 10 at 8:00 a.m. By opening day, DEP will stock 173,000 trout in the state's freshwater streams, lakes, ponds and impoundments.

"New Jersey's sportsmen have been looking forward to the opening of the 2004 trout season for months," said Commissioner Campbell. "DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife has raised the watermark for the 2004 season by giving trout enthusiasts increased chances of catching broodstock and additional locations at which they can catch both wild and stocked trout."

Commissioner Campbell and DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Martin J. McHugh will celebrate the opening day of the 2004 trout season on April 10 at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center. Opening Day festivities at Pequest will include fishing, a screening of the Pequest film "Hooked on Nature," and the presentation of awards to the winners of the youth Fish Art and Essay Contest.

DEP has added several new twists to the spring stocking program. New Jersey's 2004 trout season will offer larger trout, additional fishing locations and increased opportunities for wild trout fishing.

An increased supply of broodstock will be allocated statewide by opening day. Approximately 5,000 broodstock, measuring 16 to 24 inches in length and an average of two to three pounds, will be released in streams, ponds and lakes throughout the state. Many bodies of water will receive 30 to 50 large breeders rather than five to ten. The additional breeder trout stock will greatly increase an angler's chances of catching breeder trout in 2004.

The DEP also added a two-mile stretch of the Passaic River from Mount Vernon Avenue to Route 24 between Chatham and Summit to its list of stocking locations. This section, which is known as the Passaic River-Lower, will be stocked on the same days as the upstream stretch. It will receive 2,980 brook and rainbow trout during the pre-season period and four in-season weekly stockings.

DEP will offer ample wild trout fishing opportunities in 2004. The following additional streams have been designated under the Wild Trout Stream regulation program.

  • The segment of the Saddle River stretching from State Line to Lake Street in Upper Saddle River, which supports brown trout;
  • The section of Jackson Brook that begins at its source and concludes at Hedden Park Lake in Mine Hill Township, which supports brown trout;
  • The portion of the Whippany River that originates at its source and ends at Tingley Road in Mendham, which supports both brown and rainbow trout. Tingley Road will no longer be stocked with trout.

Angling in these waters is limited to the use of artificial lures. A daily creel limit of two fish is allowed from opening day of trout season through September 15, and angling at other times of the year is limited to catch and release.

Some trout waters may be closed on specific dates and times during pre and in-season trout stocking periods. Please refer to the 2004 Freshwater Fishing Issue of the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest for information on fishing specific waters and associated regulations. The Digest is available online at

For a weekly updated list of waters slated for spring stocking, call the Trout Hotline at (609) 633-6765. Information on trout fishing, licensing and stamps in New Jersey is available on the web at





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