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Trout Stocking Begins March 17

March 12, 2008

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is gearing up for its annual spring trout stocking season slated to begin March 17. The stocking is in preparation for the opening of trout season on Saturday, April 5 at 8:00 a.m.

Trucks brimming with brook, brown and rainbow trout will leave the Pequest Trout Hatchery in Warren County this month to stock the state’s rivers and lakes. By the time Opening Day of Trout Season arrives, more than 180,000 trout will be available for New Jersey’s trout anglers.

A total of 570,000 trout will be stocked in nearly 200 lakes, ponds, and streams throughout the Garden State by the time spring stocking concludes in May.

Most of the trout stocked in the spring are 1½ years old and average 10½ inches in length and ½ pound each. However, some of the trout are considerably larger, weighing 3 to 5 pounds each and ranging from 14 to 19 inches in length.

These large trout are called “broodstock” or “breeders” because they are mature fish (2½ years old) that were used the previous fall to obtain and fertilize eggs as part of the hatchery’s continuous production cycle. A total of 4,000 to 6,000 broodstock will be stocked statewide this spring.

Trout fishing is very popular in New Jersey. More than 100,000 licensed anglers are expected to take to waterways throughout New Jersey this year in addition to the thousands of youth anglers under the age of 16, who do not need a fishing license.

Purchasing a fishing license and trout stamp is required in New Jersey if you are over the age of 16. Residents age 70 and older can fish without a license or trout stamp. You can purchase your license online at: and print it yourself, or purchase it in person at license agents or select Division of Fish and Wildlife offices.

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

Last Updated: March 12, 2008