The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife is stocking more than 5,000 “super-sized” rainbow trout today as part of its winter trout stocking program, and what the season lacks in numbers it more than makes up for in size of fish that can be hooked during the fall and winter fishing season.
“At one time, colder temperatures and the approach of winter signaled the end of trout fishing in New Jersey,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Chanda. “That’s not the case any longer. Now in the late fall and winter you can hook a super-sized trout ranging from 14 to 18 inches, up to a half-foot or more longer than fish stocked at other times of year.”
The Division of Fish and Wildlife began winter stocking of lakes in 2000, providing opportunities to fish for trout outside of the regular spring and fall stocking seasons. Six years later, the division began stocking lakes with the larger trout, beauties that can weigh three times as much as those stocked in spring, providing a quality experience that some anglers look forward to all year. These fish are given two years to grow at the state hatchery in Warren County, compared to the 1 ½-year-old trout released in spring.
Beginning this week, 23 lakes across the state will be stocked with super-sized rainbows, ensuring that at least one trout-stocked lake is within easy driving distance of anyone interested in trying their luck on a crisp winter’s day. What’s more, trout stocked in October as part of the fall stocking program that have not been caught yet have had an extra six weeks to grow. On average, they will be three inches longer than when first stocked.
Trout anglers age 16 through 69 and older are reminded to buy a New Jersey fishing license and trout stamp. Both can be easily be purchased either online and printed immediately at home, or from license agents throughout the state.
Trout fishing is free for children under 16 and New Jersey residents age 70 years and older. A discounted senior fishing license is available for residents 65-69.
License buyers have the satisfaction of knowing 100 percent of their money goes toward improving fishing opportunities and protecting the quality of New Jersey’s waters.
To purchase a license online and for more information on trout stocking, including all the great places to fish for trout in New Jersey and tips on how to catch them, visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com You can find more information on the stocking schedule at the website or by calling the Trout Stocking Hotline, (609) 633-6765.
Logo courtesy New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife