May 31, 2017
The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is reminding the public that although spring trout stocking has concluded, it's just the beginning of fabulous late spring and early summer trout fishing. Most trout anglers miss out on some of the best trout fishing of the year by not fishing after stocking ends, and the continuing cool and damp weather we've been having is keeping stream and lake temperatures favorable for trout.
Many trout waters actually have more fish in them now than when the season started: Every week more trout have been added to stocked waters but fewer are taken out; angler survey data shows that 70% of New Jersey trout anglers release most, if not all, of the trout they catch.
Another reason streams are teeming with trout this time of year is the stocking of almost 19,000 additional fish, averaging more then 11 inches in length, during the last three weeks of the season. This is due to the Pequest Trout Hatchery's production of trout in excess of the spring season goal of 570,000, reaching almost 589,000 fish (see the Pequest spring stocking summary for this year's numbers). Those with a fishing license and trout stamp shouldn't stop trout fishing now. And those who haven't had a chance to trout fish yet, now is the time to get in on the late season trout fishing bonanza. More fish, fewer anglers...a win/win combination!
Spring trout information can be viewed at www.njfishandwildlife.com/trtinfo_spring.htm. Those looking for a place to fish can find directions to more than 300 trout fishing public access points at www.njfishandwildlife.com/accesswater.htm.
Anglers should also note that in addition to the nearly 589,000 harvestable-sized trout stocked this spring, 42,200 fingerling Rainbow Trout, averaging 3.9 inches, were stocked in the lower Raritan River in Riverside Park, Piscataway, on May 24. These fingerling trout were surplus, removed from the raceways at Pequest to allow the remaining fingerlings room to grow to a larger size before they are stocked next year. Anglers fishing the lower Raritan River continue to report occasional catches of Brown Trout that were stocked in the lower Raritan in the spring of 2014 (a one-time stocking related to the fish disease outbreak in the hatchery). It is anticipated that the recently stocked Rainbow Trout fingerlings will also find suitable habitat, adapt to their new surroundings, and provide recreation as they grow larger.
Fishing licenses and trout stamps can be quickly and conveniently purchased and printed online at www.nj.wildlifelicense.com or at more than 200 agent locations throughout the state listed at www.njfishandwildlife.com/agentlst.htm. And don't forget to introduce a friends and family members to fishing with the discounted Buddy License.