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March 16, 2006

Contact: Elaine Makatura
(609) 292-2994


(06/14) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson today invited the public to gear up for opening day of trout season at the DEP's 22nd annual Open House and Fish Festival, April 1 and 2, at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center in Oxford.

"Our open house offers angling enthusiasts and their families a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the arrival of spring and prepare to welcome another season of first-rate trout fishing in New Jersey," Commissioner Jackson said. "Experienced anglers, beginners and everyone who appreciates the great outdoors will enjoy this popular event."

The open house, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, rain or shine, features a look at an assortment of freshwater fish in the world's largest mobile aquarium. Muskellunge, walleye, bass, catfish and sunfish will be on display in the bass tub, and pro anglers will demonstrate fishing techniques and offer tips.

As in past years, there will be a wide array of special displays and activities that showcase New Jersey's wealth of fish and wildlife resources. Freshwater fisheries biologists will demonstrate fish-sampling equipment and how to safely handle various kinds of fish. Conservation groups and a host of exhibitors, including Trout Unlimited and the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, also will attend the event.

Children who are 8 and older can cast their lines into the hatchery's trout-stocked education pond. Younger children can try their luck in the trout tank. Pequest will provide all equipment and bait, and volunteers will be on hand to assist at the pond and the tank.

Other activities for children include the biggest gill net maze in northwest New Jersey, fish printing and aquatic insect explorations. Children and adults also can try casting a variety of spinning and fly rods on the lawn, and watch demonstrations on cleaning and cooking fish.

The open house also features a fishing flea market. Tackle dealers and other merchants will be selling fishing-related products, and guides and outfitters will offer information about their services. Also, fishing licenses and trout stamps will be sold at the Natural Resource Education Center.

The open house is sponsored by the Warren County Public Information & Tourism Department, the New Jersey Council of Trout Unlimited, GBW Insurance Co. and Ramsey Outdoor Store. Marketing sponsors are the Skylands of New Jersey Tourism Council and the New Jersey Office of Travel and Tourism. The event and parking are free.

The Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center is located on Route 46, nine miles west of Hackettstown in scenic Warren County. Every year, the hatchery produces more than 700,000 trout for stocking in publicly accessible waterways throughout New Jersey. The Natural Resource Education Center offers displays about New Jersey's natural resources and educational programming.

For more information, visit or call Pequest at (908)-637-4125.




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Last Updated: March 16, 2006