Fish Rescue in Wanaque River Below Greenwood Lake
April 19, 2010
A crew of NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) staff and volunteers from New Jersey Muskies Inc. Chapter 22 and the DFW's Wildlife Conservation Corps rescued 240 large game fish from the Wanaque River and returned them safely to Greenwood Lake on April 16. A Star Ledger video at http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2010/04/fish_rescue_at_greenwood_lake.html shows the rescue operation and the truly impressive fish that were returned to Greenwood Lake.
High water levels in late winter and early spring sometimes lead to large Greenwood Lake muskellunge and walleyes washing over the Lake's dam and into the Wanaque River. Muskies Inc. Chapter 22 members and DFW Conservation Officers observed large numbers of walleyes and muskies in the river near the base of the dam last week and coordinated a rescue effort with DFW's Hackettstown Fish Hatchery. A total of 234 walleyes weighing four pounds to ten pounds, and six muskies measuring 35 inches to 42 inches were netted, transported and then released back into Greenwood Lake.
Musky and walleye rescues at Greenwood Lake by DFW staff, Muskies Inc. and volunteers were first done in 2005 and again in 2007. Similar rescues have also been done in the past to return walleyes to Swartswood Lake and to return muskies and walleyes to Lake Hopatcong. Both locations are currently being surveyed to determine if rescues are needed again this spring. (See the feature articles on the 2005 rescue at Swartswood Lake, Greenwood Lake and Lake Hopatcong, and the 2007 rescue at Greenwood Lake.)
To learn more about New Jersey's fabulous walleye and muskie fishing opportunities visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/fish_warmwater.htm . Information on walleye and musky spawning, rearing and stocking by the DFW's Hackettstown Hatchery can be viewed at www.njfishandwildlife.com/hacktown.htm#articles.