DEP Commissioner Campbell
Lends a Hand Stocking Fish
for Saturday's Opening Day of Trout Season
(03/55) PRINCETON TOWNSHIP -- Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell today helped stock the Delaware & Raritan Canal
with hatchery raised fish in preparation for the opening
of the 2003 trout season.
At 8:00 a.m. Saturday, April 12, the season
officially begins in all waters open to public angling.
"Opening day of trout season is a
sure sign that spring is here," Commissioner Campbell
said. "Nearly 200 streams and lakes throughout the
state will be stocked with hundreds of thousands of trout."
This spring, the DEP's Division of Fish
and Wildlife will release more than 575,000 brook, brown
and rainbow trout into 95 streams totaling 350 miles and
89 freshwater lakes, ponds and impoundments totaling 12,400
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," the
commissioner said. "Governor McGreevey's initiatives
to protect the state's highest quality waters will help
ensure that trout habitats remain healthy for future generations."
The trout are raised at the Division's
Pequest Trout Hatchery & Natural Resource Education
Center in Warren County and measure 10 to 11 inches in length
with weights between one-half and one pound. In addition
to these trout, another 5,000 breeders measuring 16 to 24
inches in length and weighing an average of 2 to 3 pounds
will be released.
Spring trout stocking begins about three
weeks prior to the opening day of trout season and continues
for another seven weeks after the season starts. Brook trout
are stocked first during pre-season weeks since they are
easier to catch and help to increase angler success in the
beginning of the season. Rainbow trout are next, usually
released during the first or second weeks of in-season stocking
efforts. By the fifth or sixth weeks, brown trout are ready
to be released. The browns are saved until the end of the
stocking regime since they are partial to warmer water temperatures.
This year, there are several changes to
trout stocking locations throughout the state. Pine Brook
in Monmouth County was removed from the list of trout stocked
waters due to poor access and lack of fishing activity.
Pohatcong Lake in Tuckerton, Ocean County, was added to
the list of trout stocked waters. This lake is a popular
location that has been used as a site for the Children's
Fishing Derby Program and is the only freshwater fishing
opportunity in this area. Waywayanda Creek in Sussex County
will be added to the list of trout stocked waters. Biologists
are currently working with the DEP's Division of Parks and
Forestry to create a handicapped-access area that will be
stocked pre-season only.
Photo caption: DEP Commissioner Bradley M.
Campbell tosses trout Friday into the Delaware &
Raritan Canal at Alexander Road in Princeton Township
in preparation for Saturday's opening day of trout
image (JPEG 75 Kb)
Marc Matsil, DEP assistant commissioner
of Natural and Historic Resources, and Martin J. McHugh,
director of the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, will
be at the Pequest Trout Hatchery on April 12 to celebrate
the opening day of the 2003 trout season in New Jersey.
Some trout waters are closed on specific
dates and times during pre and in-season trout stocking
periods. Check the 2003 New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest,
Freshwater Fishing issue, for information on fishing specific
waters and associated regulations.
For a weekly updated list of waters slated
for spring stocking, call (609) 633-6765. Information on
trout and trout fishing in New Jersey as well as weekly
stocking schedules are also available on the Division' s
Web site: www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw