Friday, November 16, 2018

Autumn Trout and Salmon in New Jersey

Almost 4,400 trout will be stocked in New Jersey next week, and 325 landlocked salmon were introduced into Merrill Creek Reservoir last week, providing more great fishing opportunities in the state.

The trout, measuring 14-18 inches, will be stocked in 18 waters throughout the state on Monday and Tuesday.

The salmon were stocked in Merrill Creek Reservoir in Warren County last Thursday.

Native to eastern Canada and Maine, landlocked salmon are closely related to Atlantic salmon and are nearly identical in appearance. Unlike Atlantic salmon, which migrate from saltwater to spawn in freshwater streams, the landlocked salmon has adapted to spend its entire life cycle in freshwater. Landlocked salmon have been successfully introduced to suitable waters outside their native range, including New Jersey, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York.

Runelvy Rodriguez of Northvale shows off her state record 25 3/4-inch landlocked salmon,
caught June 2, 2018 in Lake Aeroflex

Landlocked salmon were once privately stocked in New Jersey around 1950. The state launched its current stocking program in 2006, with stockings at Lake Waywayanda in Waywayanda State Park and Lake Aeroflex in Kittatinny Valley State Park. The program expanded to Tilcon Lake in Allamuchy Mountain State Park in 2014.

The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife provides free surplus fingerlings to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which rears them in the Hackettstown Fish Hatchery until they are ready for release. In return, New Jersey has given Massachusetts surplus northern pike.

For information visit the following links:

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Student Conservation Association in New Jersey

Student Conservation Association (SCA) has a mission is to build the next generation of conservation leaders and inspire lifelong stewardship of the environment and communities. They do this by engaging young people in hands-on service to the land.

This is year #61 for SCA. New Jersey is newer to the program but there are several NJ SCA summer high school job programs in areas throughout the state including Hunterdon County, Newark and Camden.

Their first community based conservation program was in Hunterdon County in 1999, partnering with the Hunterdon County Parks system. Since then, they have enlisted 300 high school students in conservation job opportunities in Hunterdon County and the impacts on the county’s trail system have been enormous.

In 2003 SCA expanded its New Jersey programming by establishing high school programming in the Newark area in partnership with Prudential. SCA has Camden community crews that are run from their Philadelphia office.

The New Jersey Community Program provides paid summer job opportunities (July through August) for high school students in the Hunterdon and Essex county regions of New Jersey. This 6-week summer program runs Monday-Friday and incorporates environmental education and job readiness training into the conservation service experience. Participants build trails and restore habitat while exploring green career opportunities, building leadership skills, and learning about the local environment through field trips, outdoor recreation, and service projects.

It is not too early to consider these opportunities, though you need to submit applications by May 16th. Check out the how to apply section of their website.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

No Off Season at Sandy Hook

Though we think of the beach as a summer place, when the crowds at Sandy Hook have gone home, there are still things to do at the beach.

Here are just a few samples.

History House
Fort Hancock's Officers Row, Building 1
October 1 - April 30: Weekends, 1 PM - 5PM
An 1898 lieutenant's quarters on "Officers Row" overlooking Sandy Hook Bay is furnished to the WWII era, the busiest time in the fort's history.

Stars of Sandy Hook
Lot E Beach Pavilion
Monday, November 12, 6 PM - 8:30 PM
Join a park ranger and the STAR Astronomy Society to view the night sky. Telescopes are set up. Bring your own telescopes and/or binoculars.

Check out the Gateway Program Guide for Fall 
for these programs and more at:

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Atlantic Brant Study in NY and NJ

During winter 2018, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife kicked-off a 5-year collaborative Atlantic brant migration and breeding ecology study with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Atlantic brant - Photo: Andreas Trepte - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5

Atlantic brant are a small goose species that breeds in northern Canada and winter in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. About 90% of the entire population winters along the coast of New Jersey and New York. 

During the next two years, crews will be marking brant with GPS transmitters and tiny geolocators. The geolocators are clear, plastic electronics about the size of a "fat nickel" and are attached to a red and white plastic leg band with a plastic cable lock tie.

This study is using GPS backpack and tarsal geolocators during 2018-19 on both the wintering grounds in New Jersey/New York and breeding grounds in Nunavut, Canada. Marked birds will provide insight into the following Atlantic brant questions:

If you encounter a marked Atlantic brant, check out the information at on how to help and what to report - especially if you find a bird with tarsal band or backpack transmitter shot or dead.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Species On the Edge Art & Essay Contest for Grade 5 Students

Students in Grade 5 can select one of more than eighty endangered state species, create artwork, and write an essay creatively advocating for that animal.

One winner from each county will be recognized at a ceremony at the NJEA building in Trenton in the spring. Winners, their family, their teacher and school administrators will be invited.

The Species On the Edge Art & Essay Contest is conducted by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.

Contest Information