More than 184,000 freshly stocked rainbow trout will be available statewide, including more than 40 fishing spots across Morris County, as anglers cast their lines on the much-anticipated opening of trout season at 8 a.m. this Saturday, April 7.
An annual rite of spring, opening day of trout season reels in several thousand Morris County anglers each year, many of them as families.
“New Jersey can take pride in offering some of the finest trout fishing found on the East Coast,” said Acting DEP Commissioner Catherine R. McCabe. “We strongly encourage newcomers to try their hand at trout fishing and discover a rewarding way to enjoy the splendid scenery of early spring.”
The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife has been stocking waterways with rainbow trout raised at the Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Warren County. More than 570,000 trout will be released in 173 streams, rivers, lakes and ponds throughout the state by the end of May.
“New Jersey has one of the best trout-stocking programs in the nation,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources Martha Sapp. “With beautiful, high-quality fish being stocked in every county, great fishing opportunities can be found close to home.”
To view a list of 44 trout fishing locations in 20 towns in Morris County, and others in neighboring locations in Somerset, Sussex, Union, Warren and northern Passaic counties, visit: http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/accesscnty.htm (sites in Pequannock are listed as Passaic County in the state’s chart)
Rainbow Trout broodstock fish
Most of the released trout will average 10½ inches long, but large breeders, known as broodstock, also will be distributed in the early weeks of the stocking season.
Avid trout anglers will be pleased to hear that plenty of the 21,000 super-sized trout stocked last fall have not been caught and will be available this spring, providing even more exciting fishing opportunities. These fish have grown even more since they were stocked.
For more information on the spring trout stocking program, including the in-season stocking schedule and spring stocking updates and changes visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/trtinfo_spring18.htm.
Anglers can download the complete in-season stocking schedule to their smartphones just by scanning the QR Code found in the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Freshwater Digest or on trout regulation signs posted along all trout stocked waters.
Stocking information is also available through the Trout Stocking Hotline by calling (609) 633-6765.
Anyone age 16 or older must obtain a fishing license and trout stamp to fish for trout. Anglers can buy and print a fishing license and trout stamp online at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com or through license agents. A list is available at www.njfishandwildlife.com/agentlst.htm.
Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 and older may fish for free.