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Group Programs at the Pequest Trout Hatchery

Due to COVID-19 the Pequest facility remains closed to all visitors. The WMA grounds remain open. Organized groups may schedule outdoor education classes.
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The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers a year-round line of programming for schools and organized groups at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center. All programs are designed to support most major subject areas in grades pre-K - 12 while teaching about wildlife and the environment, and can be used to meet state standards for core course proficiencies as well as scout badge requirements.

Hikes focusing on wildlife habitat and natural resources, sessions on river ecology, fishing, biology and many other programs are offered.

All programs are geared to be fun, hands-on learning experiences that participants are sure to enjoy.

For program details, see the descriptions below.

Schedule a Group Program

Guidelines for Booking a Program

Programs must be:

  • Booked at least one month in advance
  • Scheduled between the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday only
  • For groups between 10 - 25 students only
  • If requesting multiple program dates, please complete one form for each date


  • A non-refundable program deposit of $50 is required for each date you are scheduled for, and must be received within one month after receiving confirmation of the program date.
  • Programs can be rescheduled for an additional $50.
On the Day of Your Program
  • Programs are taught outside; dress for the weather.
  • You may have lunch at our outdoor picnic areas, but you must take your garbage and recyclables with you.
  • Wear long pants, appropriate footwear, hats and sunglasses to protect you from the elements.
  • Group leaders and chaperones are expected to assist students with activities.
Groups Are Expected To:
  • Notify us in advance of any special needs or considerations for your group.
  • Arrive on time. Lateness will not be tolerated. Please contact us if delayed while en route.
  • Arrive with at least the minimum number of students, but no more than the number scheduled for.
  • Behave. Group leaders are responsible for maintaining discipline.
  • Treat our equipment respectfully, as though it is your own.
  • Cancel with a minimum of 48 hours notice if you need to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How far in advance can I schedule my group program?
A. Program scheduling begins on January 2 of the year in which you wish to bring a group.

Q. Can I schedule a program for my Scouts?
A. Any organized group can schedule a program as long as they meet the program requirements listed above.

Q. Do you accommodate special needs groups, or individuals with a disability in a group?
A. Yes, provided you notify us at the time a program is scheduled so we can provide the best possible experience for your group.

Q. Can I schedule my group for multiple days?
A. Groups are welcome to visit the facility no more than twice a year.

Q. If I schedule my group for multiple dates, do I need multiple deposits?
A. No, but the deposit amount must reflect the number of dates you are scheduled to visit the hatchery. If you repeatedly fail to meet the rules and guidelines expected of your group, you might not be allowed to return for future programs and the deposit will not be refunded.

Q. Can I pay with a credit card?
A. No. We are only able to take checks.

Q. Can I send a personal check?
A. Personal checks are welcome, as long as you realize that the check will be kept.

Q. Can you come to our site for a program?
A. Programs are provided at the Pequest site only.


Title Description Grades Length Times Offered
Trout Habitat Exploration Hike through the Pequest Valley and explore who has lived or visited the riparian zone. We will get a few glimpses of the Pequest River as we near the end of the hike and will spend some time looking at why the river is a great place for trout. 5 - 12 2 hours Year-round
Fishing Basics Learn the basics of fishing – how to use the equipment, safety and ethics of fishing, casting and more. This hands-on session will give you an introduction into the sport of fishing. Presentation will be followed by an actual fishing experience at the Education Pond. 3 - 12 2 hours April - October
Hatchery Tour Take a tour of the Pequest Trout Hatchery where more than 700,000 trout are raised each year! The program includes discussion on the life cycle of trout, their biology and habitat needs, an introduction to the facility and will end with a guided tour of the hatchery grounds. K - 12 1 hour Year-round
Fish Fun Games Learn about the habits of fish through a variety of hands-on games that will educate you about fish, their biology, their habits and some of the challenges that they face in rivers and ponds. K - 12 2 hours Year-round
Trout Fry Children have an innate interest in wildlife and the natural world around them. This reading program jump-starts their imagination about diverse animals and habitats using stories and hands-on craft activities. Students will get to visit the hatchery in a short tour. 3 – 5 years 1.5 hours Year-round
Habitat Hike Students will explore various habitats on the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Tracks and other wildlife signs, plants and more may be explored depending on who visited there before us. 4 – 12 2 hours Year-round


Questions? E-mail the program coordinator with any questions.

Public programs are also offered at Pequest.
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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 16, 2020