2022 Spring Trout Fishing Information

Do not congregate in parking lots or on shorelines - maintain proper social distancing behaviors.

Keep parks, WMAs and other areas open by observing proper social distancing!

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2022 Stocking Schedule and Trout Allocations (pdf, 288kb)
2022 Bonus Broodstock Program (pdf, 426kb)
Fishing Access to Trout Stocked Waters by County
Fishing Access to Trout Stocked Waters by Name
2022 Trout Regulations (pdf, 297kb)
Updates/Changes

2022 Trout Meeting Presentations
Report American Shad in the Paulins Kill and Musconetcong Rivers
Outdoors with Andre: Raising and stocking a half million trout (nj.com video)

THE SPRING TROUT STOCKING PROGRAM

The Division will return to a normal stocking schedule with three weeks of pre-season stocking and seven weeks of in-season stocking with in-season closures in effect. There will, however, be a change in the stocking frequency to help minimize staff exposure to COVID-19 and to help ensure healthy trout by moving them out of the raceways faster than usual. This change will shift 68,000 fish from in-season to pre-season stocking, with no change to the total allotment of fish per waterbody. This change in stocking frequency means that a total of roughly 68,000 more fish will be available to anglers across the state on opening day. The season will be as follows:

  • January 1 - March 20: Waters open to fishing, with a 4 trout daily limit and a 9" size minimum
  • March 21 - April 9 at 8:00 a.m.: Waters closed to trout fishing (* See Exceptions below)
  • April 9 at 8:00 a.m.: Opening day of trout season
From April 9 to May 31 the minimum legal size is 9" with a daily limit of 6 trout in most trout waters.
Angler with large rainbow trout
Giant breeders are among the Rainbow Trout stocked each spring.
Click to enlarge

Fortunately, production of trout at the Pequest Trout Hatchery has not been affected by the pandemic. In addition to approximately 570,000 production (10.5") trout, there will be approximately 6,000 two- and three-year-old broodstock, ranging in size from 14"-26" and weighing up to 7 lbs. stocked this spring. These trophy-size fish are slated for waters across the state which are suitable for fish of that size and which do not conflict with management goals.

SEASON STOCKING SUMMARY

  • A total of roughly 250,000 trout will be distributed in three weeks during pre-season stocking which will begin on March 21, 2022, a return to our normal stocking schedule with an increase in pre-season stocking rates.
  • Trout stocked waters will be closed to fishing beginning March 21. (* See Exceptions below)
  • Trout stocked waters will not be open to catch-and-release during the pre-season this year.
  • Opening day of trout season is April 9 at 8am with a daily limit of six trout.
  • The Bonus Broodstock Lake program has been reinstated for 2022.
  • In-season waterbody closures will be in effect during Spring 2022 trout season.
All anglers should remember:
  • ALL REGULATIONS FOR SPECIAL REGULATION WATERS REMAIN IN EFFECT (e.g. TCAs, Catch & Release Areas, and Trophy/Holdover waters).
  • ESTABLISHED SEASONS, SIZE, AND CREEL LIMITS FOR ALL OTHER SPECIES APPLY.

After opening day, these waters are closed to fishing from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on their designated stocking dates. Closures apply to all tributaries for 100 feet from the main channel.
*All Brook Trout caught within the BROOK TROUT CONSERVATION ZONE must be released. There are no closures for ANY waters in the fall.
Trout Stocking Hotline: 609-633-6765.
TROUT STOCKED WATERS CLOSED TO FISHING (5 A.M. TO 5 P.M.) ON SPRING IN-SEASON STOCKING DATES, FOR 7 WEEKS FOLLOWING OPENING DAY
Stocking Days Waterbody County Location
MONDAYS
Manasquan River Monmouth Rt. 9 bridge, Howell Twp. downstream to Allenwood-Lakewood Rd. (Rt. 21), Wall Twp.
Metedeconk River, N/Br. Ocean Aldrich Rd. to Ridge Ave., Howell/Lakewood Twps.
Metedeconk River, S/Br. Ocean Bennetts Mills dam to twin wooden foot bridge, opposite Lake Park Blvd. on South Lake Dr., Lakewood Twp.
Rockaway River** Morris Longwood Lake dam, Jefferson Twp. to Boonton Reservoir (aka Jersey City Res.), Boonton
Toms River Ocean Rt. 528, Jackson Twp., to confluence with Maple Root Branch, and Rt. 70 to Rt. 571, Toms River/Manchester Twps. (Exception: the section regulated as a Year Round Trout Conservation Area; see separate regulation.)
TUESDAYS
Pohatcong Creek** Warren Rt. 31, Washington Twp. to Delaware River
Raritan River, S/Br.** Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon Mill dam located 200 feet upstream from Schooleys Mountain Rd. (Rt. 517), Long Valley to junction with Raritan River N/Br. (Exception: the section regulated as Catch and Release.)
WEDNESDAYS Raritan River, N/Br.** Somerset Peapack Rd. bridge in Far Hills Borough/Bedminster Twp. to junction with Raritan River S. Br.
THURSDAYS Paulinskill River, and E/Br. and W/Br.** Sussex, Warren Limecrest RR spur bridge on E/Br., Sparta Twp., and Warbasse Jct. Rd. (Rt. 663) on W/Br., Lafayette Twp., to Columbia Lake (old dam site). Columbia WMA below Warrington Rd is closed to the public. Please check Fish and Wildlife's website for updates.
Ramapo River** Bergen State line to Pompton Lake, Oakland (excluding Potash Lake)
FRIDAYS Big Flat/Flat Brook** Sussex 100 ft. above Crigger Rd., Stokes State Forest, Sandyston Twp. to Delaware River (Exception: the section regulated as Catch and Release.)
Musconetcong River** Sussex, Morris, Warren and Hunterdon Lake Hopatcong dam to Delaware River including all main stem impoundments except for Lake Musconetcong (Exception: the section regulated as a Year Round Trout Conservation Area; see separate regulation.)
Pequest River** Warren and Sussex Pequest Rd., Green Twp. to Delaware River (Exception: the section regulated as a Seasonal Trout Conservation Area; see separate regulation.)
Wanaque River** Passaic Greenwood Lake dam, West Milford, Twp. to Wanaque Reservoir dam, Wanaque Borough and from Wanaque Ave., Pompton Lakes Borough to Pequannock River, excluding the Wanaque and Monksville reservoirs.

** These streams are wholly or partially located within the Brook Trout Conservation Zone.
 

Since every county has waters that are stocked with trout, trout fishing opportunities are never too far away.

Happy young angler
Click to enlarge
Share trout fishing with a youngster.
Brown and Brook Trout are still available, and regulations are in place to keep it that way (see page 18 in the 2022 Freshwater Fishing Digest). Waterbodies such as the South Branch Raritan River, Pequannock River and Big Flat Brook, (to name a few) have naturally reproducing trout in them that will surprise and delight many lucky anglers with their beautiful markings and coloration.

There are several waters that remain open for catch-and-release trout fishing: Lake Hopatcong (Morris/Sussex), Mountain Lake (Warren), Prospertown Lake (Ocean), Lake Shenandoah (Ocean), Swartswood Lake (Sussex), and the section of Lawrence Brook from Davidsons Mill Rd. to Farrington Lake dam are open year round to fishing.

Catch and Release Only, Seasonal, and Year-Round Trout Conservation Areas and designated Holdover Trout Lakes are also open to fishing. However, trout caught in any of these waters during this period must be released immediately. Note that, fishing is not permitted on Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas from 12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m. on April 10, 2022. Trout can be harvested from the state's two Trophy Trout Lakes, Merrill Creek and Round Valley Reservoirs. Be sure to check the Freshwater Digest for regulations pertaining to these waters.

The Hook-a-Winner rewards anglers who catch one of the 1000 jaw-tagged trout stocked during the pre-season. Anglers who catch a tagged trout can claim their a certificate and patch by submitting an application form.

Don't forget that a fishing license and trout stamp are required to fish for trout if you are 16 years or older. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 years and older can fish without a license. Licenses and stamps may be obtained through one of the many license agents statewide, or online.

* Exceptions: Trophy Tout Lakes, Lake Hopatcong, Mountain Lake, Lake Shenandoah, Lawrence Brook (section from Davidson's Mill Rd. to Farrington Lake dam), Prospertown Lake and Swartswood Lake are open year round to fishing. However, all trout caught during this period (above) must be released immediately. Seasonal and Year-round Trout Conservation Areas and designated Holdover Trout Lakes (see pages 1719 in the Trout Regulations) are also open to fishing but are catch-and-release only for trout. Fishing is not permitted on Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas from 12:01 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on April 9, 2022. Round Valley and Merrill Creek Reservoirs (Trophy Trout Lakes) are open to year round fishing; trout may be harvested within the regulations as shown on page 19Trout Regulations.

2022 SPRING TROUT STOCKING UPDATES / CHANGES

Updates and changes to this season's stocking schedule and trout allocations will be listed here.

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