DEP HOLDS OPEN HOUSE AT THE PEQUEST TROUT HATCHERY ON
APRIL 2 and 3
(05/24)TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell announced today that the 21st annual Open House and Fish Festival will be held on Saturday, April 2 and on Sunday, April 3 at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center in Oxford, Warren County.
This year's event features the largest New Jersey trout in captivity, as well as an opportunity to view an assortment of fresh water fish in the state's largest mobile aquarium, and a chance for children to experience the fun of the biggest gill net maze anywhere.
"We invite the public to visit our unique facility and join
us in a celebration of aquatic stewardship and fishing,"
said DEP Commissioner Campbell. "This is an event not only
for trout anglers, but for everyone interested in the outdoors
and wildlife. The open house at the state's hatchery is consistently
one of our most popular events, and draws people from across New
Jersey as well as neighboring states," Campbell added.
"Attending the hatchery's open house is a great opportunity
for families to spend a day outside learning about the rich natural
resources and outdoor opportunities New Jersey has to offer"
said John Watson, DEP Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic
Resources. "I encourage everyone to come to beautiful Warren
County and join in celebrating this annual rite of spring."
Children will be able to guess the exact weight of the hatchery's
largest trout. Those who guess it right, will be in a special
drawing to be invited back to the hatchery for the opening day
of trout season to fish for lunker trout and to attend a special
DEP's annual open house is a showcase for fish, fishing, and
professional resource management. There will be opportunities
for children (up to age 16) to fish for trout, one week before
the season officially opens. The bass tub - a giant mobile aquarium
- will return again this year and will be the setting for informal
"how to" fishing demonstrations. Novice anglers of all
ages can talk fishing with the pros and try casting a variety
of fishing rods.
New this year is the fishing flea market. Outfitters, guides, tackle dealers, and private citizens are invited to buy and sell fishing-related products and services. Wildlife artists, carvers, and taxidermists will also be on hand.
Conservation groups will be well represented at the event, including Trout Unlimited and the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.
As in past years, there will be demonstrations, special displays
and activities related to New Jersey's fish and wildlife resources.
Freshwater fisheries biologists will demonstrate fish sampling
equipment, cleaning and cooking fish, and safe handling of various
kinds of fish. Kids' activities include fish printing, and aquatic
Another new feature of the event is a 13-target, 3-D archery
range. This range tests the abilities of intermediate and experienced
archers. A beginner course will also be available with equipment
The open house is generously sponsored by Clear Channel Communications,
the Warren County Public Information & Tourism Dept., GBW
Insurance Co., Grand Rental Station of Hackettstown, the Inn at
Panther Valley, NJ State Council of Trout Unlimited, Recreational
Boating and Fishing Foundation, and CHP Communications. The entire
event is free-of-charge (including parking). Food is available
DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife encourages anyone with an interest in the outdoors to attend the open house and fish festival.
The Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center is located off Route 46, nine miles west of Hackettstown in Warren County. The event takes place on both days from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Pequest hatchery annually produces about 700,000 trout for stocking throughout the state's public waters.
For more information about the open house or public and group
visitation programs call 908-637-4125 or visit the DEP's Web site