Trout Production Waters for Category One Upgrades
Category One waters are protected from any measurable changes in water quality because of their exceptional ecological significance, exceptional recreational significance, exceptional water supply significance, or exceptional fisheries resources.
To qualify as an exceptional fisheries resource, waters must be classified as FW2-Trout Production (FW2-TP) waters and confirmed by the Department to support trout production. Stream sampling (fish survey) data are used by the Department to determine whether FW2 waters should be classified to protect trout production (TP) or trout maintenance (TM) uses; or as nontrout (NT).
A classification system was developed by the Department that utilizes a table of Incidence of Occurrence (I.O.) of other fish species associated with trout, based on data from a statewide survey of freshwater streams. When waters are surveyed and found to have naturally-reproduced trout in their first year of life (young of the year, or "YOY"), such waters are classified as trout production waters, or "FW2-TP". When adult trout are found and YOY trout are absent, the classification of the stream as trout maintenance (FW2-TM) or nontrout (FW2-NT) depends upon the stream's total fish population.
FW2-TP Waters are waters where trout can complete their life cycle, including reproduction, in a natural habitat. Wild trout tend to be more colorful, challenging to catch and provide a more desirable trout angling opportunity without the stocking and hatchery rearing costs. The Department has determined that streams classified as FW2-TP are exceptional fisheries resources and qualify as Category One designation.
Additional information on recreational fishing is provided at the Department's Fishing in New Jersey Web site.
For more information about Category One waters, please contact the Bureau of Water Quality Standards and Assessment at (609) 777-1753.