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Anglers Unite : Trout Season Opens April 6th

Anglers Unite : Trout Season Opens April 6th


We know it hard to believe with snow on the ground but yes Trout Season officially open s in New Jersey on April 16th

The stocking trucks from the Pequest Trout Hatchery will begin rolling on March 18 as the spring pre-season distribution of this year’s trout gets under way. By year’s end, approximately 600,000 trout will be stocked throughout the state, but the action really got going on Opening Day, April 6, at 8 a.m.

The “production trout” average 10.5″ but were kept company prior to opening day by some of the more than 6,000 three to eight pound breeder trout which are also being stocked. This spring, trout will be placed in 88 streams and 90 ponds and lakes throughout New Jersey. Those trout will be in addition to some of the 26,000 bruisers still in the water from stockings in the fall and winter. Fortunately for the state’s anglers, trout remain available throughout the summer in many waters.



Trout fishing in New Jersey continues to be some of the best available on the East Coast. The average size of the trout stocked is larger than trout stocked in neighboring states, and the Bonus Broodstock Lakes and the breeder stocking programs provide plenty of trophy size fish within a short drive from anywhere in the state. Aside from some allocation changes, noted below, the 2013 season is expected to provide the normally superb trout fishing opportunities New Jersey anglers have grown to appreciate.

Driving directions to some of the state’s better know trout water access points can be found at Anglers are reminded that access to locations along trout stocked streams may be available only through the good graces of private landowners. Please be respectful of their property and take care not to damage trees and shrubs. Leaving your fishing location cleaner than when you arrived helps maintain good angler-landowner relations and ensures continued public access to trout streams.

The in-season stocking schedule, covering the seven weeks following opening day, is available online at and through the trout stocking hotline at 609-633-6765.



Anglers should be aware that most trout-stocked waters are closed to fishing during the 3 weeks leading up to opening day (March 18 – April 6 at 8 a.m.). During this time most trout-stocked waters are stocked with trout to provide anglers with great fishing opportunities on Opening Day, April 6.Successful trout angler

During this pre-season period you might want to try fishing one of a handful of trout-stocked waters that remain open for fishing. Farrington Lake (Middlesex Co.), Lake Hopatcong (Morris/Sussex counties), Lake Shenandoah (Ocean Co.), Prospertown Lake (Ocean Co.), and Swartswood Lake (Sussex Co.) are open year round to fishing. Designated Trout Conservation Areas (Seasonal and Year Round) and Holdover Trout Lakes also remain open to fishing. (Note that fishing is not permitted on Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas from 12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. on April 6, 2013). Trout caught in any of these waters during the pre-season period must be released immediately.

Those looking to fish during the pre-season period and keep their catch can cast a line in either of the state’s two Trophy Trout Lakes, Merrill Creek and Round Valley Reservoirs.

Be sure to check the trout regulations (  pertaining to all the above waters.

On Opening Day and the days that follow, there are a few regulations to keep in mind. On most waters anglers may keep 6 trout per day, and the trout must be at least 9 inches long. Since the trout reared at the Pequest Trout Hatchery average 10½ inches when stocked, most of the stocked trout you catch can be harvested if you chose to. June 1 is an important date, as the daily creel limit for trout on most trout waters drops from 6 to 4 per day.

The state’s sixteen major trout streams are stocked every week after Opening Day for the next seven weeks and they are closed to fishing from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of stocking. This allows the trout a chance to disperse following stocking and gives anglers an equal opportunity to fish for freshly stocked trout. All other waters may be fished at any time following Opening Day, including the day they are stocked. Many are stocked at least three times after Opening Day so be sure to check the trout stocking schedule to determine the stocking dates for the waters you plan to fish. Since every county has waters that are stocked with trout, spring trout fishing opportunities are never too far away

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