New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Back to State of NJ Homepage Back to Fish and Wildlife Homepage Back to DEP Homepage 

April 9, 2001


An exciting change in the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish and Wildlife's popular Channel Catfish Stocking Program will create many new fishing opportunities when 3,500 catfish averaging 15 inches long are stocked this month in 19 smaller lakes throughout the state.

The regular channel catfish stocking routinely takes place in the fall with lakes receiving fingerlings that average 7 inches in length. Up until this year, the Division's warmwater hatchery could only raise catfish to 7 inches before they had to be stocked to make room for next year's crop.

Releasing bigger channel cats into smaller lakes has been made possible by the Division's new aquaculture facility at the Hackettstown Hatchery.

"These larger channel catfish are available for these stockings because we were able to keep them throughout the winter in the new intensive fish culture building at Hackettstown," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "The new building allows the Division to not only raise more fish, but healthier and larger fish in the same amount of time it took using the old facilities. As a result, we can stock legal-size fish in lakes that normally could not produce enough legal-sized fish to provide any substantial fishing opportunities. We are excited about providing quality fishing opportunities for the citizens of New Jersey where they did not exist prior to our improvements at Hackettstown."

The lakes slated to receive catfish measure less than 11 acres in size and many are urban ponds. These waters are planned to be stocked every year to ensure adequate numbers of available fish. The larger channel catfish will offer anglers the benefit of immediate harvest as well as provide the basis for a long-term put, grow and take fishery. And there's potential for the occasional trophy fish in the future since channel cats have the potential to grow in excess of 20 pounds.

Following is a list of waters by county along with the number of catfish slated for stocking:


Heritage Park Pond		150


Whites Pond			150


Laurel Lake			250
Woolmans Lake			125  

Cape May

West Pond			75


Diamond Mill Pond		100


Duck Pond			65
West Hudson Park Pond		100


Amwell Lake			250 


Colonial Lake			250


Hooks Creek Lake		250
Roosevelt  Park Lake		250

Echo Lake			150
Hamilton Fire Co. Pond		50
Holmdel Park Pond		75


Silas Condit Park Pond		250


Lake Ocquittunk			200


Lower Echo Park Pond		150
Milton Lake			250