The NJDEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife has moved up its Fall Trout Stocking Program by one week. The fall stocking will now begin Tuesday, October 1 and conclude on Wednesday, October 9. The stocking schedule has been revised to help staff take steps to address a disease that has affected a small portion of fish at the Pequest Trout Hatchery in Warren County.
With cooler temperatures providing optimal conditions for trout fishing, the Division is looking forward to another excellent fall season. Nearly 20,000 two-year old brook and rainbow trout averaging 14 to 16 inches and weighing 1½ to 2 pounds will be distributed in 17 streams and 15 lakes and ponds statewide.
The fish being released have been tested and found free of the disease, furunculosis, which impacted the lower raceway portion of the Pequest Hatchery. The earlier stocking will enable staff to begin precautionary full scale antibiotic treatments of the entire fish stock at the hatchery.
Other steps being taken to safeguard the hatchery include enhanced deterrents to prevent birds which prey on the fish, particularly osprey and great blue herons, which are believed to have introduced the bacterium into the hatchery raceways.
The full revised stocking schedule is available online or by calling the Trout Stocking Hotline at 609-633-6765.