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Winter Trout Stocking Begins November 22

November 3, 2004

Cooler temperatures and the approach of winter frequently signal the end of another fishing season for anglers. Lately however, more and more anglers are delaying the urge to shelve their passion and are discovering the additional fishing opportunities afforded them by New Jersey's Winter Trout Stocking Program.

The Winter Trout Stocking Program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife and is entering its fifth year. The highly successful program provides additional opportunities for Garden State anglers during the late fall and winter months by providing trout outside the regular spring and fall stocking seasons.

The trout are raised at the Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Warren County where the regular season trout are also raised.

Wintertime trout anglers eagerly await the stocking of trout in their favorite lake or pond. Although much of the winter fishing activity in these areas occurs during open water or unfrozen periods, many anglers look forward to the opportunity to catch trout through the ice.

In North Jersey, safe ice is usually present on most stocked water bodies during the winter. However, some of the parks where trout are stocked, particularly in the urban areas, prohibit ice fishing. Anglers should check with the individual park office regarding their regulations on ice fishing.

Proven methods for catching trout through the ice are using tip-ups with powerbait or fathead minnows, and jigging with small jigs or ice jigging flies. Traditional baits like worms, fathead minnows, meal worms and powerbait fished on the bottom during open water work well for those fishing from shore.

Anglers should pick up a copy of the Freshwater Fishing Issue of the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest and familiarize themselves with the regulations pertaining to their chosen fishing hole.

Several changes have been made to the program this year. Green Turtle Pond, a 40-acre lake on the Wanaque Wildlife Management Area, will be substituted for Shepherd Lake. The pond, a recently approved trout stocked water, is located several miles from Shepherd Lake in Passaic County. It is hoped that this smaller lake with good shoreline access will provide higher returns to anglers than Shepherd Lake. Anglers should note that Shepherd Lake is considered a "holdover trout lake" so fish should still be available this winter from the previous spring stocking.

South Jersey lakes that were traditionally stocked the first week of January will now be stocked during the same period as the North Jersey lakes (i.e., Thanksgiving week). This change will allow all Garden State anglers to take advantage of these fishing opportunities during the holiday period when many people take time off from work.

The following list contains winter trout stocking information. A total of 24 lakes geographically distributed throughout the state will be stocked with 12,940 rainbow trout averaging 11 inches in length. Stocked lakes range in size from five to 100 acres and have shoreline access and/or boat launching sites. The smaller waterbodies (i.e., Rowands Pond, Verona Park Pond and Ocquittunk Lake) have a higher success rate for catching trout than larger lakes such as Furnace Lake, Little Swartswood Lake and Aeroflex Lake.

Whatever stocked water body you choose to fish, one thing is certain -- there will be rainbow trout waiting. Thanks to the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, anglers suffering from freshwater withdrawal need not succumb to the winter fishing blues any longer.

Below is the list of waters being stocked with numbers of trout.


Monday, November 22

Middlesex County
Hook's Creek Lake - 520

Monmouth County
Spring Lake - 480
Topenemus Lake - 470

Ocean County
Lake Shenandoah - 580

Sussex County
Lake Ocquittunk - 500
Little Swartswood Lake - 1,000
Lake Aeroflex - 1,000
Silver Lake - 600

Tuesday, November 23

Atlantic County
Birch Grove Park Pond - 460

Bergen County
Mill Pond - 400

Camden County
Haddon Lake - 480
Rowands Pond - 250

Cumberland County
Shaws Mill Pond - 510

Essex County
Verona Park Pond - 500

Gloucester County
Mullica Hill Pond - 410

Hudson County
Woodcliff Lake - 510

Morris County
Mt. Hope Pond - 410

Passaic County
Barbours Pond - 420
Green Turtle Pond - 770

Salem County
Riverview Beach Pond - 420

Wednesday, November 24

Hunterdon County
Amwell Lake - 410

Morris County
Speedwell Lake - 520

Union County
Lower Echo Lake - 420

Warren County
Furnace Lake - 900

More on Winter Trout 2004

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 3, 2004