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2004 Fall Channel Catfish Stocking Provides Exciting Fishing Opportunities

October 12, 2004

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protectionís Division of Fish and Wildlife once again entices freshwater anglers with its Fall Channel Catfish Stocking Program. For those who think the cooler weather will put a damper on their fishing season, nothing could be farther from the truth. One of lifeís greatest outdoor pleasures is experiencing the thrilling fight of a channel cat on the end of a line during one of the most beautiful seasons of the year.

Channel catfish stocking began on October 5 and will continue through October 27 with a total release of 200 broodstock and 36,365 fingerlings in 35 selected waters throughout the eastern side of the Garden State. In addition, 3,890 spring holdover channel catfish ranging in size from 12-16 inches will be released in 23 waterbodies throughout the entire state.

The fingerling channel catfish are raised at the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery. The warm water (80 degrees) circulating in this state-of-the-art fish culture facility allows for these fish to reach the targeted goal of seven inches in only 3Ĺ months. These fish need to reach 7-inches in length and a weight of 10 fish per pound by the middle of October in order to have enough body weight to survive their first winter in the wild.

The DEP attempts to release approximately 38,000 fingerling channel catfish every fall, alternating each year between waterbodies in the eastern half of the state and waterbodies in the western half. In all, 93 different waterbodies spread over all 21 counties of the state are stocked on a biennial basis.

An added bonus for this year will be the stocking of 200 broodstock catfish ranging in size from four to 15+ pounds. These "supercats" are some of the 800 adults used annually at the Hackettstown Hatchery for spawning purposes. These fish are rotated out of spawning ponds every few years to make room for younger 2 and 3-year-old fish.

The following eight waters will each receive 25 broodfish during the week of October 18-22:

Birch Grove Park Ponds/Atlantic County
Lake Como/Monmouth County
East Brunswick Park Pond/Middlesex County
Lake Manetta/Ocean County
Takanassee Lake/Monmouth County
Verona Park Pond/Essex County
Weequahic Park Pond/Essex County
Woodcliff Lake/Hudson County

Fisheries biologists are aware of the success of the channel catfish-stocking program in several waterbodies, but there are still many waters where angler feedback is needed. In order for this program to continue, it is important for anglers to report their catches of channel catfish in all stocked waters, especially those marked with an asterisk (*) on the stocking schedule.

The best way to offer feedback is by filling out the angler survey on the DEPís Division of Fish and Wildlife website at www.njfishandwildlife.com/fishsurv.htm. Here anglers can report their catches while providing fisheries biologists with valuable information to help them enhance fishing opportunities in New Jersey. Those without computer access can also contact the Lebanon Field Office by telephone at 908-236-2118 or by mail to: P.O. Box 394, Lebanon, NJ 08833.

2004 Fall Channel Catfish Stocking Schedule

Week of October 4-8
*Greenwood Lake     West Milford/Passaic Co.     3456
*Green Turtle Pond     West Milford/Passaic Co.     700

Week of October 11-15
*Scarlet Oak Pond     Mahwah/Bergen Co.     220
Pompton Lake     Pompton Lakes/Passaic Co.    1632
*Oldham Pond     North Haledon/Passaic Co.     375
Passaic River     Paterson/Passaic Co.     2000
*Barbour's Pond     West Paterson/Passaic Co.     300
Verona Park Lake     Verona/Essex Co.     325
Surprise Lake     Mountainside/Union Co.     625
*Weequahic Park Lake     Newark/Essex Co.     1600
Branch Brook Park Pond     Newark/Essex Co.     600
*Woodcliff Lake     North Bergen/Hudson Co.     375
Farrington Lake     Milltown/Middlesex Co.     1740
*East Brunswick Pk Pd     East Brunswick/Middlesex Co.     625
*Weston's Mill Pond     New Brunswick/Middlesex Co.     1840

Week of October 18-22
*Shadow Lake     Red Bank/Monmouth Co.     1760
Takanassee Lake     Long Branch/Monmouth Co.     350
Deal Lake     Asbury Park/Monmouth Co.     1580
Lake Como     Spring Lake/Monmouth Co.     750
*Spring Lake     Spring Lake/Monmouth Co.     400
*Lake Carasaljo     Lakewood/Ocean Co.     1675
*Lake Manetta     Lakewood/Ocean Co.     450
Manasquan Reservoir     Howell/Monmouth Co.     3600
*Turn Mill Pond     Colliers Mills/Ocean Co.     1000
*Colliers Mills Pond     Colliers Mills/Ocean Co.     425
Assunpink Lake     Roosevelt/Monmouth Co.     2250
Rising Sun Lake     Roosevelt/Monmouth Co.     807
Stone Tavern Lake     Roosevelt/Monmouth Co.     1105
*Brainerd Lake     Cranberry/Middlesex Co.     375

Week of October 25-27
*Hurley's Pond     Wall Twp./Monmouth Co.     400
*Kesslars Pond     Allenwood/Monmouth Co.     300
*Silo Farm Pond     Wall Twp./Monmouth Co.     200
*Topenemus Lake     Freehold/Monmouth Co.     525
Birch Grove Park Pond     Northfield/Atlantic Co.     750
*Dennisville Lake     Dennisville/Cape May Co.     1250

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2004
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 12, 2004