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Winter Trout Stocking Begins November 20

November 6, 2006

Cooler temperatures and the approach of winter frequently signal the end of another fishing season for anglers. Lately however, more and more anglers are delaying the urge to shelve their passion and are discovering the additional fishing opportunities afforded them by Winter Trout Stocking Program.

The Winter Trout Stocking Program is administered by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) Division of Fish and Wildlife. This highly successful program provides additional opportunities for Garden State anglers during the late fall and winter months by providing trout outside the regular spring and fall stocking seasons.

A total of 24 lakes geographically distributed throughout the state will be stocked with 6,470 rainbow trout (see list below). These lakes range in size from five to 100 acres and have shoreline access and/or boat launching sites. The trout are raised at the Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Warren County where the regular season trout are also raised.
As with changes recently enjoyed by anglers this fall, only larger two-year old rainbow trout averaging 14 to 16 inches in length will be stocked during the Winter Trout Program. As with the fall, these fish will have to be hand loaded at the hatchery since they are too large to fit in the fish pump normally used to load stocking trucks. Two-year old rainbow trout
Click to enlarge
Anglers are reminded that stocking numbers for the Winter Program have been reduced by half due to raising larger fish, which take up considerably more space at the hatchery.

Wintertime trout anglers eagerly await the stocking of trout in their favorite lake or pond. Although much of the winter fishing activity in these areas occurs during open water or unfrozen periods, many anglers look forward to the opportunity to catch trout through the ice.

In North Jersey, safe ice is usually present on most stocked water bodies during the winter. However, some of the parks where trout are stocked, particularly in the urban areas, prohibit ice fishing. Anglers should check with the individual park office regarding their regulations on ice fishing.

Proven methods for catching trout through the ice are using tip-ups with powerbait or fathead minnows, and jigging with small jigs or ice jigging flies. Traditional baits like worms, fathead minnows, meal worms and powerbait fished on the bottom during open water work well for those fishing from shore. Trout not caught this fall and winter will be awaiting anglers for opening day next spring!!

Anglers should pick up a copy of the Freshwater Fishing Issue of the New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Digest and familiarize themselves with the regulations pertaining to their chosen fishing hole. The Digest as well as other information about fishing in New Jersey is also available online at And be on the lookout this December for the new 2007 Freshwater Digest. This Special How-to issue is packed with great fishing tips for the beginner to the more experienced angler. Interested in fishing, but don't know how, this is an issue you shouldn't miss!

Whatever stocked water body you choose to fish, one thing is certain -- there will be rainbow trout waiting. Thanks to the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife, anglers suffering from freshwater withdrawal need not succumb to the winter fishing blues any longer.

Below is the list of waters being stocked with numbers of trout.


Monday, November 20

Middlesex County
Hook's Creek Lake - 260

Monmouth County
Spring Lake - 240
Topenemus Lake - 235

Ocean County
Lake Shenandoah - 290

Sussex County
Little Swartswood - 500
Lake Aeroflex - 500
Lake Ocquittunk - 250
Silver Lake - 300

Tuesday, November 21

Atlantic County
Birch Grove Park Pond - 230

Bergen County
Mill Pond - 200

Camden County
Haddon Lake - 240
Rowands Pond - 125

Cumberland County
Shaws Mill Pond - 255

Essex County
Verona Park Pond - 250

Gloucester County
Mullica Hill Pond - 205

Hudson County
Woodcliff Lake - 255

Passaic County
Barbours Pond - 210
Green Turtle Pond - 385

Salem County
Riverview Beach Pond - 210

Wednesday, November 22

Hunterdon County
Amwell Lake -205

Morris County
Mt. Hope Pond - 205
Speedwell Lake - 260

Union County
Lower Echo Lake - 210

Warren County
Furnace Lake - 450

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 8, 2006