Fall Trout Fishing in New Jersey
|The fall trout season has continued to grow in popularity in New Jersey, particularly since since 2006 when trout stocked in the fall measured 14 inches to 22 inches and weighed one and a half pounds to eight pounds. The big fish, cool water, great weather and spectacular scenery combined to make the fall season what many consider to be New Jersey’s premium trout fishing season.
This fall, as a result of a disease issue at the hatchery this past spring, yearling brown and rainbow trout approximately 7-9 inches in length will be stocked as the hatchery works to rebuild fish stocks lost to the disease. A return to the stocking of larger fish is anticipated for next year.
In addition to the yearling trout, up to 500 broodstock rainbow trout will also be stocked. These broodstock, averaging 18 to 24 inches, will be stocked in lakes and ponds during the second week of stocking, with each lake receiving more than 30 of these trophy-sized fish. As the majority of streams stocked in the fall support holdover trout fisheries these waters provide anglers opportunities for larger trout to be caught.
Fall stocking begins Tuesday, October 7 and continues through October 15. Over this period more than 25,000 trout will be distributed in 17 streams and 14 lakes and ponds statewide. All trout are raised at the division's Pequest Trout Hatchery.
Cadillac Rock in Musconetcong Gorge
Click to enlarge
Photo by Brian Cowden, TU
stocked during the first week of fall stocking are the 17 large
streams and rivers in northern and coastal areas, such as the
Big Flatbook, Pequest River, South Branch Raritan River, Musconetcong
River, and the Manasquan and Toms Rivers. During
the second week, 14 ponds and lakes in the central and southern
portions of the state are stocked. All fall-stocked waters
may be fished as soon as they are stocked (no "closed waters"
during fall stocking).
The complete list of fall-stocked
waters and the stocking schedule is available at www.njfishandwildlife.com/flstk.htm
or through the Trout Stocking Hotline 609-633-6765. If
you need help finding one of these trout-stocked waters, refer
to the list of fishing access locations linked
below for driving directions.
Other waters offer fine trout fishing opportunities even though they are not stocked in the fall. The Holdover Trout Lakes, like Lake Aeroflex and Lake Wawayanda, provide year round trout fishing opportunities. Those waters, along with Tilcon Lake in Allamuchy Mountain State Park, are included in the landlocked salmon stocking program, now in its 9th year. All three yield harvestable size salmon (12 inches).
Our two Trophy Trout
Valley and Merrill
Creek Reservoirs, are also great trout fishing destinations. Shoreline
fishing on Round Valley is particularly popular in the fall, as big
rainbows cruise the shallows (See the current Freshwater
Digest for special area regulations.) Also, sea
run brown trout begin returning to freshwater in the Manasquan
River during the fall and early winter.
Trout fishing will really heat up once fall stocking gets underway.
The line-busting, bragging-size trout being stocked in October will
test the skills of anglers fishing with lightweight tackle, leaving
some anglers with fond memories, to last a lifetime, about the big
one that got away. Whether you chose to fish for stocked or wild trout,
there are plenty of trout-fishing opportunities in the Garden State.
So take the time from your busy schedules to enjoy trout fishing during
the splendor of fall.