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2015 Spring Trout Fishing Information

Facebook Logo TROUT SEASON IS OPEN!

TROUT STOCKING HOTLINE: 609-633-6765

 

2015 Weekly Stocking Schedules

2015 Trout Allocations by Water and Day Stocked

2015 Bonus Broodstock Program

Fishing Access to Trout Stocked Waters by County

Fishing Access to Trout Stocked Waters by Name

Trout Fishing Facts & Information (pdf, 18kb)

2015 Trout Regulations (pdf, 230kb)

HIGHLIGHTS FOR 2015

Updates/Changes

The 2015 season is expected to provide the normally superb trout fishing opportunities New Jersey anglers have grown to expect and appreciate. The average size of the trout stocked is greater than 10.5 inches, and the Bonus Broodstock Lakes and the breeder stocking programs provide plenty of trophy size fish within a short drive from anywhere in the state. Although snow and ice may continue to blanket the northern portion of the state our stocking trucks began rolling on March 16th on schedule. The late ice and snow melt is making for excellent stream flows this spring and the recent warming trend should help heat things up right before the season opener!

New this year is all Trout Stocking Regulation signs are equipped with QR Codes! With just a quick scan from your smart phone the Division's entire Spring In-Season stocking schedule will download right to your phone! The schedule is complete with all seven weeks of stocking following Opening Day on April 4, including day of the week and the number of trout stocked. This will help guide anglers to other fishing opportunities throughout the state right from your favorite fishing spot.

Rainbow trout caught in Pequest River
Rainbow Trout, including broodstock, will be stocked this spring

Anglers are reminded that as a result of a disease outbreak at the Division's Pequest Trout Hatchery (2013/2014) the hatchery is now rearing Rainbows only. A silver lining to only Rainbow Trout is that studies have shown that Rainbow Trout are more aggressive and more likely to fall victim to a well-presented lure or baited hook, much to the satisfaction of more trout anglers, particularly on Opening Day.

For those anglers who just love to catch Brown Trout or Brook Trout, there are still opportunities out there. Waterbodies such as the South Branch Raritan River, Pequannock River & Big Flat Brook, (to name a few) have naturally reproducing trout in them that will surprise and delight many lucky anglers with their beautiful markings and coloration. There are also waters in New Jersey that remain cool enough to support trout year round and contain holdover Brook and Brown Trout from previous stockings. Releasing Brook and Brown Trout will help preserve these opportunities well into the future. These trout, in addition to the 570,000 Rainbow Trout stocked this spring from the Pequest Trout Hatchery, will no doubt keep New Jersey as one of the top trout fishing destinations in the East.

 

Happy young angler
Click to enlarge
Sharing opening day with a youngster can't be beat.
Ten lakes receive an additional helping of large broodstock through the State's Bonus Broodstock program. Each year a different set of waters is selected statewide, and there's bound to be an opportunity near you. These waterbodies generally receive 30 - 50 of these extra large trout.

The odds of catching a big one are in your favor if you try one of these waters: Amwell Lake (Hunterdon), Barbour's Pond (Passaic), Echo Lake (Monmouth), Giampetro Park Pond (Cumberland), Holmdel Park Pond (Monmouth), Oak Pond (Camden), Ponderlodge Pond (Cape May), Seeley's Pond (Union), Spooky Brook Park Pond (Somerset) and Sylvan Lake (Burlington).

Anglers should be aware that most trout-stocked waters are closed to fishing during the 3 weeks leading up to Opening Day (March 16 - April 4 at 8 a.m.). There are several waters that remain open for fishing: Lake Hopatcong (Morris/Sussex), Mountain Lake (Warren), Prospertown Lake (Ocean), Lake Shenandoah (Ocean), Swartswood Lake (Sussex), and the section of Lawrence Brook from Davidsons Mill Rd. to Church Lane are open year round to fishing. Catch and Release Only, Seasonal, and Year-Round Trout Conservation Areas and designated Holdover Trout Lakes are also open to fishing. However, trout caught in any of these waters during this period must be released immediately. Note that, fishing is not permitted on Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas from 12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. on April 4, 2015. Trout can be harvested from the state's two Trophy Trout Lakes, Merrill Creek and Round Valley Reservoirs. Be sure to check the Freshwater Digest for regulations pertaining to these waters.

Fish and Wildlife will place "Hook-a-Winner" jaw-tags on 1,000 rainbow trout stocked in the spring. Anglers who catch a Hook-a-Winner trout can claim their prize (a certificate and patch) by contacting the Pequest Trout Hatchery 908-637-4173 ext. 113.

Each spring, the Division's Pequest Trout Hatchery stocks over 570,000 rainbow trout into 90 streams and 88 ponds and lakes located throughout New Jersey. Nearly 1/3 of these trout, 183,000, will await anglers on opening day. No doubt more than a few of the 14-16" trout stocked last fall or winter are alive and well, just waiting to be caught this spring. The majority of trout average 10 inches but large breeders, measuring 15 - 21", and weighing up to 5 pounds are also distributed in the early weeks of the season. The state's sixteen major trout streams are stocked every week following Opening Day and are closed to fishing from 5 am to 5 pm on the day of stocking to allow the trout a chance to disperse. All other waters are open to fishing on stocking days, following opening day, with most stocked at least three times. Since every county has waters that are stocked with trout, trout fishing opportunities are never too far away.

Don't forget that a fishing license and trout stamp is required to fish for trout if you are 16 years or older. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 years and older can fish for free. Licenses and stamps may be obtained through one of the many license agents statewide, or online.

2015 SPRING TROUT STOCKING UPDATES / CHANGES

Farrington Lake (Middlesex Co.), Shadow Lake (Monmouth Co.) and Lake Takanassee (Monmouth Co.) have been dropped from the trout stocking program as a result of changes in the 2014 Fish Code. Note that Farrington Lake was stocked in 2014 as part of the modified schedule.

3/31/15 - The road through Ken Lockwood Gorge (Hunterdon Co.) is closed into the gorge due to icy road conditions. Parking will be very limited at the upstream end.

3/23/15 - Hamilton Fire Pond (Monmouth Co.) - Removed From Program - Hamilton Fire Pond is a privately owned pond in Monmouth County. The property owners allowed public fishing in the pond for years, but have decided to not allow fishing any longer. Therefore, Hamilton Fire Pond has been dropped from the 2015 Trout Stocking Program.

3/23/15 - Hooks Creek Lake (Middlesex Co.) - Suspended - Storm surge from Superstorm Sandy pushed saltwater from the Atlantic Ocean into the lake resulting in unsuitable salinity levels for trout and other freshwater fish species. Trout stocking for 2015 is again suspended as salinity levels in the lake are still too high for trout.

Any deviations from the stocking schedule will be noted here, on the 2015 Spring Stocking Schedules page and on the Trout Hotline (609-633-6765).

2013 Pre-Season Stocking - NJ Today Video Feature
2010 Opening Day - NJ.com Video Feature

Back to Trout Fishing in New Jersey

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Last Updated: May 4, 2015