Monday, April 6, 2009

Trout Opening Day is April 11

Though this is the season for baseball opening days, in NJ trout stocking trucks started leaving the Pequest Trout Hatchery March 23rd and 180,000 trout will be placed out there for New Jersey anglers on trout opening day (April 11) next weekend.

Those trout are in addition to some of the 26,000 two to five pounders still in the water from stockings in the fall and winter, and the more than 6,000 two to five pounders stocked during the spring season. By spring's end, nearly 600,000 trout will be placed in 89 streams and 90 ponds and lakes throughout New Jersey.


An exciting change for this season is the addition of 15 to 24 inch trout to the spring stocking allocations for designated Trophy Trout and Holdover Trout lakes. In the past, these lakes were only stocked with 10 to 11 inch trout, which often grow to a larger size before being caught in these lakes.

Also, there was concern that large trout would not be as readily caught in these large lakes as they would be in smaller waterbodies. That concern was dispelled by the results of a successful stocking program conducted by the Round Valley Trout Association in which 44 of the 57 large trout stocked in Round Valley Reservoir were caught by anglers.

Streams are currently unseasonably low throughout the state. This is not overly surprising as January rainfall was well below average, and February was the driest on record since 1856. However, it is spring and significant precipitation can change stream flow conditions overnight. Fisheries biologists are monitoring water levels and will know if any stocking changes are necessary. Check with the Trout Hotline at 609-633-6765

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