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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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news releases

April 5
, 2005

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795


(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 at

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 the state.

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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Last Updated: April 11, 2005