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April 27, 1999

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

Since the first confirmed catch of a sea run brown trout in December, the New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife reported five additional catches in the vicinity of the Manasquan River in Monmouth County. The fish are most likely from the Division's autumn 1997 and 1998 brown trout stockings.

"This new program is proving to be extremely promising," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "I'd like to offer special thanks to the many chapters of Trout Unlimited who have so generously donated their time and funds to help this project get off to a good start."

One of the fish was caught in the freshwater portion of the river near the Squankum Dam. The trout had increased by two inches in length and sported a silvery color, indicating that it may have spent some time in saltwater.

The remaining four trout were taken from saltwater and also exhibited the silver coloration of sea-run fish. The specimens ranged from 11.4 to 18 inches in length and weighed .65 to 3.75 pounds. Two of the fish were collected by the Division near the Rt. 35 Bridge (in the Manasquan River estuary) during a bottom trawl survey for winter flounder. The third fish, which was also the largest measuring 18 inches in length and 3.75 pounds, was caught with a hook and line near the Point Pleasant Canal which connects the Manasquan estuary and Barnegat Bay. The fourth and most recently reported trout, was also the farthest removed from the Manasquan River. The 12-inch, one pound fish was caught 20 miles south of the river in Oyster Creek at the Rt. 9 Bridge.

The Division recently electro-fished the lower freshwater and tidal freshwater portions of the Manasquan River to see how many of the 33,060 brown trout stocked in October of 1998 remained there. Amazingly, only 15 brown trout were collected, gaining an average of only .7 inches in length -- much smaller than their sea-running counterparts. It is hoped that the majority of the 1998 stocked trout traveled out to the estuary to fatten, grow and once again return to the river.

To date, a total of 49,070 brown trout have been stocked in the freshwater/tidal portion of the Manasquan River in an effort to create a population of sea-run fish. Anglers are urged to report all catches of sea-run browns to the Division's Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries at 908-236-2118.