Friday, June 1, 2012

Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery Marks 100th Anniversary

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will mark the 100th anniversary of the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery in Warren County with an open house the weekend of June 2-3. Visitors will get a behind-the-scenes look at the storied facility that for the past century has raised a wide variety of species to benefit anglers across the state.

In 1911, the Roberts Farm in Hackettstown, along with several adjoining properties totaling 100 acres, was secured for a state fish hatchery. This farm was chosen for its ample supply of pure, cool spring water, a running brook (Trout Brook) and convenient, nearby shipping capabilities. Several weeks later, the New Jersey Fish and Game Commission appointed Charles O. Hayford as the superintendent of the facility which would be officially dedicated to him in 1953 and now bears his name.

The open house will feature a unique tour of the intricate fish hatching operations, while young anglers will have an opportunity for hands-on fishing experiences at two newly renovated education ponds or at the "Kiddie Fishing Tank." A giant mobile aquarium will display some of the state's finest fish specimens and there will be bird walks, hatchery tours and archery, an outdoor flea market, historic displays in the original hatchery building, and on Sunday entertainment by a bluegrass band.

Food can be purchased from vendors, but visitors are welcome to bring their own food. No dogs will be allowed at this event, since this is an operating fish hatchery with many open ponds and raceways.

Admission is free.

Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for both event days.

Pre-registration will be required for some activities on the day of the event.

For more information, including a complete list of programs, directions to the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery and an extensive history of the hatchery itself visit on the division's website.

Historic shot of a stocking truck

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