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October 3, 2000

For more information contact:
Bob Soldwedel at 609-292-8692

The Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife will continue its popular Channel Catfish Stocking program this year by releasing more than 52,000 fish in selected waters throughout the State October 12-26, 2000. Each year the Division aims to release about 50,000 channel cats, alternating each year between water bodies in the eastern half of the state and water bodies in the western half.

"This year we are finally starting to see the reward of several years of extensive renovations to the Hackettstown Hatchery which is now a state-of-the-art facility comparable to our Pequest trout hatchery," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "Warmwater fish that were previously raised in small indoor tanks and outside in ponds are now raised in large modern tanks inside a newly constructed aquaculture building that includes a complex system of pumps, filters, heat exchangers and water temperature control system. The renovations were the result of Green Acres Bond funding and we are pleased to offer the fruits of these labors to anglers this fall."

The Division annually hatches more than 1.6 million warmwater and coolwater fish at the Hackettstown hatchery of which over 600,000 are released as fingerlings and advanced fingerlings in New Jersey's lakes, ponds and reservoirs. Last year alone the facility reared and released record numbers of game fish including 165,000 walleye, 30,000 muskies, 325,000 pike and 75,000 smallmouth, largemouth and hybrid striped bass.

The new aquaculture building at Hackettstown allows the Division to raise fish that are healthier and larger in the same amount of time it took using the old facilities. For example, tiger muskies raised at Hackettstown in 1999 were 8 inches when stocked. The tigers raised in the new building this year were 37% percent larger (11 inches) when they were stocked. Stocking larger fish means more fish in the future for Garden State anglers because the size at stocking is a key factor in how many fish will survive and mature into adults. The improvements at Hackettstown promise to make the excellent warmwater and coolwater fishing opportunities the Division has established statewide even better in the near future.

The 7-inch channel catfish being released this year are 17% larger than the previous year and they have the potential to grow to 20 pounds or more. Many will be released into urban ponds and will provide local anglers a chance in the near future to experience the thrill of landing a hefty channel cat.

The release of channel catfish is as follows:

Thursday, October 12:
Pompton Lake - 1,632 fish
Monksville Reservoir - 1,262 fish
Green Turtle Pond - 700 fish
Greenwood Lake - 4,320 fish

Friday, October 13:
Mount Hope Pond - 450 fish
Barbours Pond - 300 fish
Oldham Pond - 375 fish
Passaic River - 2,000 fish
Scarlet Oak Pond - 220 fish

Monday, October 16:
Verona Park Pond - 325 fish
Branch Brook Park Pond - 600 fish
Woodcliff Lake - 375 fish
Weequahic Park Pond - 1,600 fish
Surprise Lake - 625 fish

Tuesday, October 17:
Weston's Mill Pond - 1,840 fish
Farrington Lake - 1,740 fish
East Brunswick Park Pond - 625 fish
Manalapan Lake - 1,000 fish

Wednesday, October 18:
Brainerd Lake - 375 fish
Lake Assunpink - 2,250 fish
Rising Sun Lake - 807 fish
Stone Tavern Lake - 1,105 fish
Allentown Pond - 875 fish

Thursday, October 19:
Topenemus Lake - 525 fish
Manasquan Reservoir - 3,600 fish
Kellers Pond - 300 fish
Sile Farm Pond - 200 fish
Hurleys Pond - 400 fish

Friday, October 20:
Shadow Lake - 1,760 fish
Takanassee Lake - 350 fish
Deal Lake - 1,580 fish
Como Lake - 750 fish
Spring Lake - 400 fish

Monday, October 23:
Colliers Mills Pond - 425 fish
Turnmill Pond - 1,000 fish
Lake Carasaljo - 1,675 fish
Lake Manetta - 450 fish
Birch Grove Park Pond - 750 fish
Dennisville Lake - 1,250 fish

Tuesday, October 24:
Harrisonville Lake - 750 fish
Elmer Lake - 1,100 fish
Woodstown Memorial Lake - 500 fish
Hammonton Lake - 1,500 fish
Swedesboro Lake - 500 fish

Wednesday, October 25:
D&R Canal (3 mile) - 740 fish
D&R Canal (10 mile) - 1,150 fish
Rosedale Lake - 750 fish
Peddie Lake - 400 fish

Thursday, October 26:
Columbia Lake - 1,375 fish
Furnace Lake - 795 fish
Spruce Run Reservoir - 2,580 fish