The Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries is responsible for the protection and management of the aquatic resources in the state's 26,000 miles of freshwater streams and over 400 public lakes. These diverse resources include habitat and fisheries resources in waters from small, coldwater streams in the northwest to tidal rivers along the state's borders including seasonal migrations of anadromous fish.
To meet management goals and assure the long term protection of the state's aquatic resources, fisheries biologists conduct fishery surveys on the state's freshwater lakes and streams, propose surface water classifications and provide technical input on a multitude of land use, watershed, and habitat based issues.
The Bureau also includes the operation of the Division's Pequest Trout Hatchery and Hackettstown State Fish Hachery, coordinating the distribution of 16 species of fish. More than 2,000,000 fish are stocked annually in over 250 waterbodies located throughout the state, providing superior angling opportunities.
Additionally, the bureau also facilitates habitat restoration projects and serves as a liaison to a variety of forums concerning the status of the state's fishery resources. The bureau, in coordination with the New
Jersey Fish and Game Council, establishes season and daily creel limits for freshwater fish species. It also administers permits for fish stocking, water lowering, commercial harvests, and scientific collecting to further provide for the effective management and protection of the state's aquatic resources.
For more efficient management of aquatic resources, the state is divided into seven regional management areas. In addition to administering to these regional responsibilities, each fisheries biologist has a specific area of expertise and oversees related research and management projects.
The bureau is funded by New Jersey sportsmen, through the sale of fishing licenses and permits and through a Federal excise tax on the manufacturing fishing related equipment. Federal excise tax money is distributed through the Sport Fish Restoration Program administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.