General Trout Fishing Regulations

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Regulations in red are new this year. Purple text indicates an important note.

 

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

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Exceptions

January 1–March 20

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 (wild trout streams, year round and seasonal trout conservation areas, trophy and holdover trout lakes).

3. On lakes Farrington, Hopatcong, Prospertown, Shenandoah and Swartswood fishing is permitted during the period March 21–April 9 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 21–April 9 at 8 a.m.

Fishing prohibited on
trout stocked waters.

Catch and release for trout
in all other waters.

April 9 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), see bellow.

 

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

All trout stocked waters (see General Trout Information), EXCEPT THOSE SPECIFIED BELOW, are open to fishing April 9, including the days they are stocked. Closures apply to all tributaries for 100 feet from the main channel. There are no closures for ANY waters in the fall.

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

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

Pohatcong Creek

Warren

Rt. 31 to Delaware River

Raritan River, S/Br.

Morris, Somerset, Hunterdon

Budd Lake outlet to junction with N/Br. Raritan River (Exception: the section regulated as a Year-Round Trout Conservation Areas; see separate regulation.)

WEDNESDAYS

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

Raritan River, N/Br.

Somerset

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

THURSDAYS

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

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

Ramapo River

Bergen

State line to Pompton Lake (excluding Potash Lake)

FRIDAYS

April 15, 22, 29
May 6, 13, 20, 27

Big Flat Brook

Sussex

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

Musconetcong River

Sussex, Morris, Warren and Hunterdon

Lake Hopatcong dam to Delaware River including all mainstream 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 then from Wanaque Ave., Pompton Lakes to jct. with Pequannock River, excluding the Wanaque and Monksville reservoirs and the section regulated as a wild trout stream.

Trout Fishing

2011 REGULATIONS

 

Trout Conservation Areas (TCAs)

 

Year Round TCAs

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Restrictions (in effect year round)

Jan. 1–March 20

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 21–April 9 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

April 9 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—Ken Lockwood Gorge (Hunterdon)
Section of S/Br within the Ken Lockwood Gorge Wildlife Management Area (approx. 2.5 miles)

Road in gorge is closed to through traffic, Rt. 31 to Rt. 513. Upper boundary: turn right at Hoffman’s Crossing Rd., take first right after bridge. Lower boundary: turn right on Silverthorne-Cokesbury Rd., turn left after crossing river. Park only in designated areas.

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 20

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 above for Trout Stocked Waters Closed to Fishing on Spring Stocking Dates). Fishing is permitted during the last in-season stocking closure date (May 27), but all trout caught between 5 a.m. and 5 p.m. must immediately be released.

March 21–April 9

Catch and release only

April 9 (12:01 a.m. to 8 a.m.)

Fishing prohibited

April 9 at 8 a.m.–May 22

Gear restrictions do not apply

9 inches

6

May 23–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. 1.6 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.

Fly Fishing-only Areas

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Restrictions

Jan. 1–March 20

9 inches

4

1. Only artificial flies are allowed, which are expressly limited to dry flies, wet flies, bucktails, nymphs and streamers. Expressly prohibited are metal, plastic, or wooden lures, plugs, spinners, and flies with spinners attached or any multiple-hooked device. Spinning reels or any type of angling whereby a fly is cast directly from the reel are expressly prohibited.

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. After opening day and through May, fishing is prohibited from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on dates listed for stocking. (See above for Trout Stocked Waters Closed to Fishing on Spring Stocking Dates.)

March 21–April 9 at 8 a.m.

Fishing prohibited

April 9 at 8 a.m.–April 18 at 5 a.m.
Gear restrictions do not apply except on Blewett Tract

9 inches

6

April 18 at 5 a.m.–May 31

9 inches

6

June 1–Dec. 31

9 inches

4

Waterbody (County)

Location

Big Flat Brook (Sussex)

Rt. 206 bridge downstream to the Roy Bridge on Mountain Rd., a distance of approx. 4 miles, except that portion known as the Blewett Tract

Big Flat Brook [Blewett Tract] (Sussex)

A 0.5 mile portion on the Big Flat Brook clearly defined by markers, which extends from the Three Bridges Rd. to a point upstream of the jct. of the Big Flat Brook and Little Flat Brook.

Boundary Waters

Locations

Species

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Delaware River

All trout species

April 16–Oct. 15
(Trout caught at other times must be released immediately.)

No minimum

5

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

15–20 inches
AND

24 inches

3
AND

1

Sept. 16–Nov. 30

Catch and release only

Dec. 1–Dec. 31

15–20 inches
AND

24 inches

3
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)

White Lake (Warren)

*Waterbodies stocked with salmon

Brook, Brown &
Rainbow Trout
and their hybrids

Jan. 1–March 20

9 inches

2

March 21–April 9 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

April 9 at 8 a.m.–May 31

9 inches

4

June 1–Dec. 31

9 inches

2

Landlocked Atlantic Salmon

Jan. 1–March 20

12 inches

2

March 21–April 9 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

April 9 at 8 a.m.–Dec. 31

12 inches

2

Wild Trout Streams

Season

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Location

Restrictions

Jan. 1–April 9 at 8 a.m.

Catch and release only

Statewide

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.

April 9 at 8 a.m.–Sept. 15

9 inches

2

Statewide (exceptions below)

April 9 at 8 a.m.–Sept. 15

12 inches
Brown Trout

2 combined

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

9 inches
Rainbow, Brook

Sept. 16 – Dec. 31

Catch and release only

Statewide

Wild Trout Streams (entire length unless otherwise indicated)

Bear Creek (Southtown)

Bear Swamp Brook (Mahwah)

Black Brook (Clinton WMA)

Burnett Brook (Ralston)

Cold Brook (Oldwick)

Dark Moon Brook (also known as Bear Brook) (Johnsonburg)

Dunnfield Creek (Worthington S.F.)

Flanders Brook (Flanders)

Hance’s Brook (Penwell)

Hickory Run (Califon)

India Brook (source to Mountainside Ave., Mendham)

Indian Grove Brook (Bernardsville)

Jackson Brook (source to Hedden Park Lake, Mine Hill Twp.)

Ledgewood Brook (Ledgewood)

Little York Brook (Little York)

Lomerson Brook (also known as Herzog Brook) (Pottersville)

Merrill Creek (Stewartsville)

Mill Brook (Montague)

N/Br. Rockaway Creek (Mountainville)

Parker Brook (Stokes S.F.)

Passaic River (source to Rt. 202, Bernardsville)

Pequannock River (Oak Ridge Rd. bridge in Newark Watershed, downstream to railroad bridge immediately upstream of Charlottesburg Res. and from Rt. 23 bridge at Smoke Rise downstream to the Rt. 23 bridge at Smith Mills)

Rhineharts Brook (Hacklebarney S.P.)

Rocky Run (Clinton Twp.)

Saddle River (state line to Lake St., Upper Saddle River)

Stephensburg Creek (Stephensburg)

Stony Brook (Stokes S.F.)

Stony Brook (Washington Twp.,
Morris Co.)

Tetertown Brook (Tetertown)

Trout Brook (Hacklebarney S.P.)

Turkey Brook (Mt. Olive)

Van Campens Brook (Del. Water Gap)

Wanaque River (Wanaque Reservoir Dam downstream to Wanaque Ave. bridge—Pompton Lakes)

West Brook (source downstream to Windbeam Club property)

Whippany River (source to Tingley Rd., Mendham Twp.)

Willoughby Brook (also known as Buffalo Hollow Brook) (Clinton Twp.)

 


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