SEASON OFFICIALLY OPENS APRIL 9
(05/35) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection
(DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today reminded New Jersey
fishing enthusiasts that trout season officially begins in all
waters open to public angling on Saturday, April 9 at 8:00 a.m.
"Trout fishing in New Jersey has never been better,"
said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. "Enhanced stocking
programs, continued production of high quality trout at our Pequest
State Trout Hatchery and the addition of new fishing access sites
through the DEP Green Acres program make the Garden State a premier
trout fishing destination. I encourage everyone to head outside
on opening day and try their hand at this great recreational activity."
The ice and snow cover that accumulated this winter and above
normal precipitation should provide ample water levels and stream
flows this spring.
"After a cold, wet winter, anglers can expect great trout
fishing in New Jersey," Commissioner Campbell said. "Anglers
are reminded, however, to buy a license before they cast a line."
More than 170,000 trout, mostly brook trout, will be distributed
throughout the state prior to opening day. The remaining 400,000
brook, rainbow and brown trout will be distributed over the 7
week in-season stocking period which continues until the end of
May. By the time the spring stocking season ends, more than 575,000
brook, brown and rainbow trout, including thousands of hatchery
breeders ranging in size from 14 to 19 inches and weighing 3 to
5 pounds, will have been stocked in more than 200 publicly accessible
waterways throughout the Garden State.
"Trout fishing is a wonderful family activity," said
John Watson, DEP Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic
Resources. "What a great way to take a break from busy schedules
and enjoy one of life's simple pleasures."
This year, 70 lakes and ponds will receive trout one week earlier
than in previous years. The change will provide more fish while
angler interest is at its peak, and increase anglers' chances
to catch trout before they succumb to the effects of warmer water
temperatures. The shift will also reduce crowding and improve
fish health at the hatchery by allowing DEP to ship out trout
earlier, freeing up valuable space.
An additional two-mile stretch of the Passaic River from Mount
Vernon Avenue in Summit and Chatham Townships to Route 24 in Chatham
Borough and Summit will be stocked again this year. This stretch
of river was added to the stocking program in 2004 and was extremely
popular with local anglers.
Year Round Trout Conservation Areas will get additional stocking
during the in-season stocking period. In response to requests
from anglers for brown trout, these waters now receive an additional
stocking of brown trout.
New Jersey also has opportunities to fish for wild trout with
35 of the state's 175 natural reproducing trout streams designated
as wild trout. Angling in these waters is limited to the use of
artificial lures. A daily limit of two fish is allowed from opening
day of trout season through September 15, with catch and release
only at other times of the year. Anglers should note that sections
of these streams are in private ownership and permission from
the landowner is required to fish these waters.
Some trout waters may be closed on specific dates and times
during pre and in-season trout stocking periods. Anglers should
refer to the 2005 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
Since 2002, DEP has provided anglers with 45 new fishing access
areas. These properties, which comprise over 4,000 acres of permanently
protected open space, were purchased through the DEP Green Acres
Program. These newly acquired properties allow anglers to wade
and walk along the streambed and banks in fishing areas throughout
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 www.njfishandwildlife.com.