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Trout Fishing

Fishing Regulations New Jersey Freshwater Fishing

General Trout Fishing Regulations

Brook, Brown & Rainbow Trout (and their hybrids and strains)

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Exceptions

January 1–March 19

9 inches

4

  1. Trout-stocked waters with spring in-season closures are closed to fishing 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on days listed for stocking (See listing below).
  2. Special regulation areas (Catch and Release Areas, Year-Round and Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas, Trophy and Holdover Trout Lakes and Wild Trout Streams).
  3. On lakes Hopatcong, Mountain, Prospertown, Shenandoah, Swartswood and the newly designated section of Lawrence Brook from Davidson’s Mill Road bridge to the Church Lane bridge, fishing is permitted during the period March 20–April 8 at 8 a.m. All trout caught during this period must immediately be released.
  4. Greenwood Lake and Delaware River—see separate regulations for
    boundary waters.

March 20–April 8 at 8 a.m.

Fishing prohibited on
trout stocked waters.

Catch and release for trout
in all other waters.

April 8 at 8 a.m.–May 31

9 inches

6

June 1–Dec. 31

9 inches

4

Lake Trout Regulations

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Exceptions

Jan. 1–Dec. 31

15 inches

2

Trophy Trout Lakes
(Round Valley Reservoir, Merrill Creek Reservoir)

Trout Stocked Waters Closed to Fishing on Spring In-season Stocking Dates

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. 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

Stocking Dates

Waterbody

County

Location

MONDAYS

April 10, 17, 24
May 1, 8, 15, 22

Manasquan River

Monmouth

Rt. 9 bridge downstream to Bennetts Bridge, Manasquan WMA

Metedeconk River, N/Br.

Ocean

Aldrich Rd. bridge to Ridge Ave.

Metedeconk River, S/Br.

Ocean

Bennetts Mill dam to twin wooden foot bridge, opposite Lake Park Blvd.
on South Lake Dr., Lakewood

Rockaway River

Morris

Longwood Lake dam (Jefferson Twp.) to Jersey City Reservoir in Boonton

Toms River

Ocean

Rt. 528, Holmansville, to confluence with Maple Root Branch, and Rt. 70 bridge to Rt. 571 bridge (Exception: the section regulated as a Year Round Trout Conservation Area; see separate regulation.)

Wallkill River

Sussex

Lake Mohawk dam to Rt. 23, Hamburg

TUESDAYS

April 11, 18, 25
May 2, 9, 16, 23

Pohatcong Creek

Warren

Rt. 31 to Delaware River

Raritan River, S/Br.

Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon

Budd Lake dam to junction with N/Br. Raritan River (Exception: the sections regulated as Catch and Release, and Year-Round Trout Conservation Areas; see separate regulation.)

WEDNESDAYS

April 12, 19, 26
May 3, 10, 17, 24

Raritan River, N/Br.

Somerset

Peapack Rd. bridge in Far Hills to junction with S/Br. Raritan River

THURSDAYS

April 13, 20, 27
May 4, 11, 18, 25

Black River

Morris

Rt. 206, Chester to the posted Black River Fish & Game Club property at the lower end of Hacklebarney State Park

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

Ramapo River

Bergen

State line to Pompton Lake (excluding Potash Lake)

FRIDAYS

April 14, 21, 28
May 5, 12, 19, 26

Big Flat /Flat Brook

Sussex

100 ft. above Steam Mill bridge on Crigger Rd. in Stokes State Forest 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

Source downstream to Delaware River (Exception: the section regulated as a Seasonal Trout Conservation Area; see separate regulation.)

Wanaque River

Passaic

Greenwood Lake dam to Wanaque Reservoir dam and from Wanaque Ave. bridge, Pompton Lakes to jct. with Pequannock River, excluding the Wanaque and Monksville reservoirs.

Catch and Release Areas

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Restrictions

Jan. 1–Dec. 31

Catch and release only for trout

  1. Only artificial lures and flies may be used.
  2. All trout must be released immediately and unharmed. A person may not have any trout in their possession.
  3. Possession or use of bait (live or preserved) or any substance (natural or synthetic) that contains a concentration of bait scent is prohibited.
  4. Fishing is permitted during the spring in-season stocking closures which apply to the rivers.

Catch and Release Waterbody (County)

Driving Directions *

Big Flat / Flat Brook (Sussex)
Rt. 206 bridge downstream to the Roy Bridge on Mountain Rd., a distance of 4.2 miles, including the portion known as the Blewett Tract.
Upper boundary: Rt. 206 bridge, approx. 1.6 miles north of entrance to Stokes State Forest (Coursen Road). Lower boundary: Rt. 206 north, app. 1 mile past Stokes State Forest entrance, turn left on Rt. 560. At Layton bear left on Bevans Rd. (Rt. 640) towards Walpack. Continue south 3.4 miles (NPS Rd 615), left onto Fish and Wildlife Rd. to Roy Bridge.
Raritan S/Br—Ken Lockwood Gorge (Hunterdon)
Section of S/Br within the Ken Lockwood Gorge Wildlife Management Area (approx. 2.2 miles).
Ken Lockwood Gorge — Road in gorge is closed to through traffic. Route 31 to Rt. 513. Upper boundary: Turn right at Hoffman’s Crossing Rd., take first right after bridge. Lower boundary: Turn right onto Silverthorne-Cokesbury Rd., turn left after crossing river. Park only in designated areas.

Trout Conservation Areas (TCAs)

Year Round TCAs

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Restrictions (in effect year round)

Jan. 1–March 19

15 inches

1

  1. Only artificial lures may be used.
  2. Possession or use of bait (live or preserved) or any substance (natural or synthetic) that contains a concentration of bait scent is prohibited.
  3. Fishing is permitted during the spring in-season closures which apply to the river. All trout caught during these periods must be released immediately.

March 20–April 8 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

April 8 at 8 a.m.–Dec. 31

15 inches

1 (see #3 at right)

Year Round TCA Waterbody (County)

Driving Directions *

Musconetcong River—Point Mountain Stretch (Hunterdon/Warren)
Penwell Rd. bridge downstream to Point Mountain Rd. bridge
(approx. 1.2 miles)
Rt. 31 to Rt. 57 E. Upper boundary: turn right on Penwell Rd. Lower boundary: turn right on Point Mountain Rd. Parking areas located near each bridge.
Raritan S/Br—Claremont Stretch (Morris)
End of Angler’s Anonymous property (private) downstream to confluence with Electric Brook (approx. 1.1 miles)
From light in Long Valley on Rt. 513 (Mill Rd.) and Rt. 517, go north on Schooley’s Mt. Rd. Take immediate right after bridge onto Fairview Rd. Parking area approximately 1 mile on right. Follow path to river.
Toms River (Ocean)
End of Riverwood Park (Tom’s River Twp.) downstream to Rt. 571 bridge (approx. 1 mile)
Rt. 195 (Exit 21) to Rts. 527/528 S. (Cedar Swamp Rd./ Veterans Hwy.) to Rt. 527 S. (Whitesville Rd.) to Riverwood Dr. to entrance of Riverview Park.

Seasonal TCAs

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Restrictions

Jan. 1–March 19

15 inches

1

  1. Only artificial lures may be used.
  2. Possession or use of bait (live or preserved) or any substance (natural or
    synthetic) that contains a concentration of bait scent is prohibited.
  3. Pequest River—fishing is not permitted during the first six in-season stocking closure dates. (See Trout Stocked Waters Closed to Fishing on Spring Stocking Dates, page 20). Fishing is permitted during the last in-season stocking closure date (May 26), but all trout caught between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. must immediately be released.

March 20–April 8

Catch and release only

April 8 (12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m.)

Fishing prohibited

April 8 at 8 a.m.–May 21
Gear restrictions do not apply

9 inches

6

May 22–Dec. 31

15 inches

1

Seasonal TCA Waterbody (County)

Driving Directions *

Pequannock River (Morris/Passaic)
Railroad trestle below Appelt Park, Bloomingdale, downstream to Hamburg Turnpike bridge, Pompton Lakes (approx. 1.3 miles)
I-287 (Exit 53). Proceed west on (Paterson) Hamburg Turnpike .34 miles. Right on Brant Ln. Railroad trestle below Appelt Park is the upstream boundary.
Pequest River (Warren)
Conrail Railroad bridge, located upstream of the Pequest Trout Hatchery Access Road, downstream to Rt. 625 (Pequest Furnace Rd.) bridge (approx. 1.4 miles)
Rt. 31 to Rt. 46 E, approx. 4 mi. to Pequest Trout Hatchery; paved parking lot.
* Directions to public-access portions on other trout stocked waters are available at NJFishandWildlife.com/accesswater.htm

Trout Lakes

Trophy Trout Lakes

Waterbody (County)

Species

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Merrill Creek Reservoir
(Warren)

Brown & Rainbow Trout
and their hybrids

Open year round

15 inches

2

Lake Trout

Jan. 1–Sept. 15

15 inches

2

Sept. 16–Nov. 30

Catch and release only

Dec. 1–Dec. 31

15 inches

2

Round Valley Reservoir
(Hunterdon)

Brown & Rainbow Trout
and their hybrids

Open year round

15 inches

2

Lake Trout

Jan. 1–Sept. 15

15 to less than 24 inches
AND
greater than or equal to 24 inches

6
AND
1

Sept. 16–Nov. 30

Catch and release only

Dec. 1–Dec. 31

15 to less than 24 inches
AND
greater than or equal to 24 inches

6
AND
1

Holdover Trout Lakes

Waterbody (County)

Species

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Clinton Reservoir (Passaic)

Lake Aeroflex* (Sussex)

Lake Wawayanda* (Sussex)

Sheppard Lake (Passaic)

Tilcon Lake* (Morris)

White Lake (Warren)

*Waterbodies stocked with salmon

Brook, Brown &
Rainbow Trout
and their hybrids

Jan. 1–March 19

9 inches

2

March 20–April 8 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

April 8 at 8 a.m.–May 31

9 inches

4

June 1–Dec. 31

9 inches

2

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

Jan. 1–March 19

12 inches

2

March 20–April 8 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

April 8 at 8 a.m.–Dec. 31

12 inches

2

Wild Trout Streams

Location

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Restrictions

Statewide

Jan. 1–April 8 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

  1. Only artificial lures may be used.
  2. Possession or use of bait (live or preserved) or any substance (natural or synthetic) that contains a concentration of bait scent is prohibited.

Statewide (exceptions below)

April 8 at 8 a.m.–Sept. 15

9 inches

2

Pequannock River, Van Campens Brook
and Wanaque River.
See designated sections below.

April 8 at 8 a.m.–Sept. 15

12 inches
Brown Trout

2 combined

9 inches
Rainbow & Brook Trout

Statewide

Sept. 16 – Dec. 31

Catch and release only

Wild Trout Streams (entire length unless otherwise indicated)

Boundary Waters

Locations

Species

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Delaware River

All trout species

April 15 at 8 a.m.–Oct. 15
(Trout caught at other times must be released immediately.)

No minimum

5