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October 07, 2016

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Caryn Shinske  (609) 984-1795


Fall Trout Season to Get Underway with Statewide Stocking Starting Tuesday, October 11

(16/P97) TRENTON - The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will begin stocking rivers, lakes and streams across New Jersey with thousands of large two-year-old trout on Tuesday, October 11, providing anglers with opportunities for great fall fishing, Commissioner Bob Martin announced today. 
“This is a special time of year when anglers can enjoy some of the best trout fishing anywhere,” said Commissioner Martin. “The Christie Administration continues its commitment to the outdoor community through our successful stocking program, which provides high quality fish in our waters throughout the state.”

Approximately 21,000 two-year old rainbow trout along with some broodstock, averaging 14 to 22 inches in length, will be stocked in rivers, streams, lakes and ponds throughout the state this fall. Because the majority of areas stocked in the fall also support trout released previously, these waters provide anglers ample opportunities to catch a bigger fish.

The trout are raised at the Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Warren County.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife is also expanding fall trout fishing opportunities to additional waterbodies this fall. Hook’s Creek Lake, Lower Echo Park Pond, Mill Pond, Speedwell Lake, Verona Park Lake, and Woodcliff Lake that used to be part of the Winter Trout Stocking Program will be moved up several weeks and will now be part of the Fall Trout Stocking Program.

By moving these lakes from the winter program to the fall program, anglers now have several more weeks of warmer weather to enjoy fishing for these trout.

Waters stocked during the first week of the two-week fall stocking program are the large streams and rivers in northern and coastal areas, including the Musconetcong River, Manasquan River, and Toms River. During the second week, ponds and lakes in the north, central and southern portions of the state will be stocked.

Several stream sections, such as Big Flatbrook (upstream of Route 206), South Branch of the Raritan River (upstream of Long Valley), Walkill River (upstream of the West Mountain Road), and the Black River (entire length) will not be stocked this year due to low stream flows.  Trout originally allocated for the Black River will instead be stocked in the South Branch of the Raritan (between Clinton and the river's confluence with the North Branch).

All fall-stocked waters may be fished as soon as they are stocked. Additionally, there are no
“closed waters” during fall stocking. There is a 9-inch minimum size limit on trout in New Jersey, so anglers must immediately release fish smaller than the minimum size.

“Fall trout fishing in New Jersey is exceptional,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Chanda. “Beautiful weather, spectacular foliage, more elbow room, and big trout provide a second to none fishing experience. Whether on your own or with family and friends, I encourage everyone to get out on the water and enjoy some excellent trout fishing this fall.”

The Division of Fish and Wildlife will also be stocking 12,000 Channel catfish from the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery in 80 water bodies during the month of October for even more great fishing opportunities.  These fish will average approximately 16 inches in length and 1.5 pounds each.

In addition to the already great fishing opportunities being offered this fall, anglers young and old, experienced and novice, can also enjoy one of New Jersey’s Free Fishing Days on Saturday October 15. On this day residents and non-residents alike can fish the fresh waters of the state for free – no license or trout stamp is required. Other regulations, including size and daily catch limits, remain in effect.

“New Jersey has some of the best freshwater fishing in the Northeast and Free Fishing Day is a great opportunity to sample it”, added Chanda. “In addition to trout, there are outstanding statewide fisheries for largemouth and smallmouth bass, pickerel and numerous pan fish species. Muskellunge, walleye, northern pike, channel catfish and hybrid striped bass fisheries are also thriving, and New Jersey anglers routinely catch many world-class sized fish.”

The complete list of fall trout stocked waters and the stocking schedule is available at  or through the Trout Stocking Hotline at (609) 633-6765. 

A wealth of information about trout fishing in New Jersey, including regulations, fishing access points and trout fishing facts can be found at:  

Anglers may also download the stocking schedule right to their cell phones by simply scanning the QR Code that appears in the Freshwater Digest or on the Division's trout stocking signs posted along trout stocked waters. Updates to the fall stocking program will be posted as necessary.

Anyone age 16 or older must obtain a fishing license to fish the fresh waters of the state. A trout stamp is also required to fish for trout. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 years and older may fish without a license. Licenses and stamps may be obtained through license agents statewide, found at

They can also be purchased online at

Anglers also have the opportunity to introduce a friend or family member to fishing at a reduced price this fall by purchasing a “Fishing Buddy” license. These discounted licenses are available to resident anglers ages 16 to 65 or any nonresident angler over age 16 who purchases an annual New Jersey freshwater fishing license at the same time as their “buddy.”

For more information on the Fishing Buddy license, visit

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Last Updated: November 30, 2016