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news releases

May 24, 2018

Contact: Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Caryn Shinske (609) 984-1795
Al Ivany (609) 468-4523


(18/P044) TRENTON – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is hosting its annual Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center Open House and outdoors recreation flea market on Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3.

Pequest Trout HatcheryThe free event, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, showcases New Jersey’s natural resources, as well as the hatchery that raises trout stocked throughout the state. The hatchery is in Oxford, Warren County.

“Drawing people from all over the state and region, the open house lets residents and visitors learn about New Jersey’s diverse natural resources through family-friendly activities, demonstrations and exhibits,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Larry Herrighty. “It also gives the public a chance to visit our state-of-the-art hatchery that each year raises hundreds of thousands of trout for stocking of rivers, lakes and streams across New Jersey.”

The event typically is held the weekend prior to the early April opening of trout season but was rescheduled this year to June due to snow pack and unsuitable ground conditions at the hatchery.

This year’s Open House will kick off National Fishing and Boating Week, June 2 through June 10, and helps lead up to New Jersey’s first Free Fishing Day June 9. A second Free Fishing Day will be held on October 20. On free fishing days, anyone can participate in freshwater fishing without having to purchase a license.

Open House activities include:

  • A large mobile fishing tank holding thousands of gallons of water and loaded with warm-water game fish from the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery. Professional fishing demonstrations are scheduled throughout the day, with tips for anglers on casting methods, lures and effective fishing techniques.
  • NJ DEP Division of Fish and WildlifeThe Pequest fishing education pond, which will be open for children ages 8 to 16 to try trout fishing. Staff and volunteers from the Wildlife Conservation Corps and Trout Unlimited will provide expert instruction. All fishing equipment will be provided.
  • Exhibits and information outside the Natural Resource Education Center, where Division of Fish and Wildlife staff and representatives from conservation organizations will explain efforts to protect and manage natural resources.
  • An indoor archery range and computerized hunter education training system that will test the skills of visitors.
  • Wildlife artists, carvers and taxidermists exhibiting their work and offering items for sale.
  • A flea market offering deals on fishing and hunting equipment, outdoor gear and many other items.

Food vendors will be available on site, or you can bring your own lunch and enjoy one of three picnic areas on the grounds of the 5,000-acre Pequest Wildlife Management Area.

The main entrance to the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center is on Route 46, approximately 9 miles west of Hackettstown in Warren County. Please note that the rear entrance is closed during the Open House, and there is no bus parking available.

For more information on the Open House, including a schedule of events and additional directions, visit: or call (908) 637-4125, Extension 0.

For information about National Fishing and Boating week, visit:



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Last Updated: May 24, 2018