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January 27, 1999

For more information contact:
Mark Boriek at 908-236-2118

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife recently reported the first catch of a sea-run brown trout from the Manasquan River in Monmouth County. A silvery colored brown sporting a clipped fin from the Division's initial 1997 stocking was caught measuring 16.25 inches in length.

"This new program is proving to be extremely promising," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "However, as with all Division projects, its future will depend upon the availability of funding and the establishment of financial security."

Phenomenal growth, coloration and scale analysis confirmed that the fish had spent a growing season in saltwater. Although the fish doubled its length in just 14 months, it did not have the characteristic robust, deep-body of a sea-run fish and weighed only 1.24 pounds. Subsequent dissection revealed the fish to be a "spawned out" female which had probably returned to the freshwater Manasquan River in the fall or early winter to reproduce and remain there before returning to saltwater in the spring.

Sea-run browns have an overall silvery coloration masking most of the spotting found on the body, but with numerous small spots remaining on the head. To date, more than 49,000 eight-inch brown trout have been stocked in the Manasquan River in an effort to create a population of sea-run fish.

Cooperation and the report of all catches remain critical to the program. Anglers are urged to contact the Division's Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries at 908-236-2118 to report all catches of sea-run brown trout.