DEP Pequest Trout Hatchery
Conducts Open House This Weekend
(03/43) TRENTON -- The New Jersey
Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division
of Fish and Wildlife is opening its doors to the public
on Saturday, April 5 and Sunday, April 6 from 11:00 a.m.
to 5:00 p.m. The open house at the Pequest Trout Hatchery
and Natural Resource Education Center in Oxford, Warren
County is one of the department's premier events held prior
to the opening day of trout season.
"New Jersey's trout hatchery is truly
a remarkable state of the art facility showcasing the department's
natural resource recreational opportunities," said
DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell. "The hatchery produces
more than 700,000 trout annually for stocking in publicly
accessible waterways throughout the state."
There will be demonstrations including
special displays and activities related to New Jersey's
fish and wildlife resources. Freshwater fisheries biologists
will demonstrate fish sampling equipment and show how eggs
are stripped from fish during the culturing process.
Trout Unlimited will have fly-tying demonstrations
and provide an opportunity for the public to try their hand
at casting various types of fishing rods. Visitors can listen
to short presentations on reptiles and amphibians, view
a watershed model and examine black bear research equipment.
The Division's Rockport Pheasant Farm will exhibit pheasants
during the weekend for visitors to observe.
There will be a sawmill demonstration each
day by local sawmill operator Andrew Pepper of Logs-to-Lumber
LLC along with representatives from the DEP's Division of
Parks and Forestry. Even Smokey Bear will make an appearance.
In addition, wildlife artists Ann Dixon,
Irene Bowers and Carol Decker will be on hand to display
some of their work. An outdoor "living history"
encampment will be ongoing both days, featuring the dress,
shelters and artifacts of a bygone era. Other conservation
groups will also have displays in the Pequest auditorium.
Activities for children include fish printing
and aquatic insect explorations. There will also be a gill
net maze for children to explore. Visitors can feed the
fish in the Fishing Education Pond, take a self-guided tour
of the facility, hike the Natural Resource Interpretive
Trail and take advantage of the picnic areas for lunch.
The Pequest hatchery is located on Route
46 nine miles west of Hackettstown in scenic Warren County.
The facility can be the site of a family outing during the
Open House or anytime throughout the year. For more information
about the event or public and group visitation and programs,
call 908-637-4125 or visit the Division's website at www.njfishandwildlife.com.