Saturday, June 15, 2013

This Weekend Are Free Fishing Days in NJ


New Jersey's Free Fishing Days
June 15 and 16, 2013

Saturday and Sunday, June 15 and 16, are New Jersey's Free Fishing Days in 2013. Free Fishing Days are held annually in conjunction with National Fishing and Boating Week, and on these days anyone may fish the Garden State’s public waters without a license or trout stamp. All other regulations, including size and daily catch limits, remain in effect.

New Jersey’s two Free Fishing Days are a no-risk investment for an introduction to freshwater fishing in the Garden State and the perfect time for families to enjoy two days of outdoor fun for free. Though youngsters under the age of 16 don’t need a license, these days provide a special benefit to adults who can join in the fun without having to purchase a license. That is, until they get hooked on a sport that just might become a lifetime of fun for the whole family. Free Fishing Days also provide a great opportunity for out-of-state visitors to sample some of the finest freshwater fishing opportunities in the Northeast.

For those who may not be aware, freshwater fishing in New Jersey has never been better. There are more kinds of fish and more places for people to catch them than ever before. Thanks to the Hackettstown and Pequest State Fish Hatcheries, anglers can try their luck for stocked muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, striped bass hybrids, channel catfish and lake trout in New Jersey’s larger lakes as well as brook, brown and rainbow trout released into the state’s smaller streams and waterways. Wild populations of fish (not hatchery raised) can also be found in abundance and anglers should pay close attention to regulations affecting them as these conservation measures are frequently more strict than for their stocked brethren. Either way, there is excellent fishing to be found statewide.

For those just starting out, the Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many programs and classes to advance from beginner to expert. The Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County offers free fishing programs. Pequest offers a Natural Resource Education Center with a variety of exhibits and displays on wildlife, a butterfly garden, picnic areas and hiking trails. There is also a handicapped-accessible fishing site along the Pequest River.

For those in search of the perfect fishing hole, the Division offers a publication entitled Places to Fish, available at select Division offices and online. This handy booklet lists only those waters with ample populations of desirable species in worthwhile sizes as well as areas that guarantee public access.

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