🐟 Opening day of New Jersey's spring trout season is April 8

🐟 State waterways will be stocked with rainbow trout

🐟 All anglers 16 and older must have a state license to fish for trout

Calling all fishermen!

New Jersey waterways will be stocked with more than 180,000 rainbow trout as the beginning of spring trout season is on April 8.

Approximately 100,000 anglers of all ages are expected to head to their favorite fishing spots on opening day, which kicks off at 8 a.m., according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

Trout season provides an opportunity to spend quality time outdoors while also enjoying some great fishing, according to the NJDEP.

“The quality of New Jersey’s trout fishing as well as the trout we stock is outstanding. Exciting fishing opportunities are plentiful in every county, meaning great places to fish are easily accessible and can always be found close to home,” said Dave Golden, NJDEP Fish and Wildlife assistant commissioner.

Following opening day, the state’s major trout streams will be stocked weekly and closed to fishing from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the day of stocking to allow the trout a chance to disperse.

NJ trout fishing (Photo Credit: NJDEP)
NJ trout fishing (Photo Credit: NJDEP)

This year marks the 40th anniversary of raising trout at the Pequest Trout Hatchery, as well.

NJDEP Fish and Wildlife Freshwater Fisheries Bureau Chief Shawn Crouse is encouraging trout anglers to be on the lookout for an online survey following the season where they can make their voices heard so the state can continue to improve the trout stocking program.

By the end of the stocking season, there should be 570,000 rainbow trout stocked in waterbodies across the state, with most trout averaging 10 ½ inches in length, and weighing about a half pound each, according to the NJDEP.

Additionally, the NJDEP said, there will be 6,000 broodstock, which are large, mature trout, ranging in size from 14 to 26 inches and weighing up to seven pounds, stocked this spring.

Fish and Wildlife also stocks a higher number of broodstock in select trout-stocked ponds and small lakes through its Bonus Broodstock program. This year, 10 trout-stocked lakes and ponds in New Jersey will receive 30 to 50 broodstock.

From April 8 to May 31, the minimum legal size required for taking trout is 9 inches with a daily limit of six trout in most waters.

From June 1 to Dec. 31, the legal size will remain 9 inches, but the daily limit will be reduced to four trout.

The 2023 stocking schedule and trout allocations, can be found on the spring trout webpage. Anglers can download the schedule by scanning the QR code found on signs posted along trout-stocked waters.

Anyone 16 and older must obtain a New Jersey fishing license and trout stamp to fish for trout.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at jennifer.ursillo@townsquaremedia.com

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