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Winter Trout Stocking Begins November 24

November 5, 2014

Fall colors may be fading but trout fishing opportunities in New Jersey are not. On November 24 through 26 the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will be releasing 9,500 yearling brown and rainbow trout just in time for the long holiday weekend. These 8 - 10 inch trout, raised at the Pequest Trout Hatchery will be distributed into 23 lakes around the state.

This winter stocking is in addition to the 25,000 trout released in October in 17 streams and 14 lakes. A number of those trout, including some of the 500 large rainbow broodstock, still remain for anglers. Trout stocked during the fall and winter are available for anglers throughout the winter into late spring. There are no closed dates during the fall and winter stocking, but anglers should consult the NJ Freshwater Fishing Digest for regulation and other information.

As with the recent fall trout stocking the yearling fish are smaller than those typically stocked in the winter. This is a result of the rebuilding of fish stocks at the hatchery because of a disease issue last spring. A return to the stocking of larger fish is anticipated for next year.

Wintertime trout anglers enjoy the more serene setting of the winter months. Although much of the winter fishing occurs during open water many anglers look forward to the opportunity to catch trout through the ice. Anglers are reminded to check with the individual park offices regarding their regulations on ice fishing as some of the parks where trout are stocked, particularly in the urban areas, prohibit ice fishing.

Common 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. If there is open water, traditional baits like worms, fathead minnows, meal worms and powerbait fished on the bottom work well for those fishing from shore.

See the 2014 Winter Trout Stocking Schedule or call the Trout Stocking Hotline at 609-633-6765 to find a nearby stocked water. Updates to the winter stocking program will be posted as necessary.

Trout Fishing in New Jersey

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Last Updated: November 5, 2015