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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
4/11/03

 

Contact: Jack Kaskey
609-984-1795

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 surface acres.

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.

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 season.
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 season.

Larger 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

 

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