Welcome to 2023 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing
Another great fishing season is upon New Jersey. There are opportunities for both avid and beginner anglers! New Jersey may be small in size, but we have many choices when it comes to freshwater fishing. Whether you’re fishing the fast-flowing streams of the state’s northern highlands region, the slower rivers of central and southern New Jersey, or the many ponds, lakes, and reservoirs across the Garden State, this edition of the New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Digest has the information you need for a safe, legal and enjoyable day out on the water.
It is for good reason that anglers have long recognized New Jersey DEP Fish & Wildlife’s trout stocking program. After all, we’ve been producing and stocking trout for over 100 years. This year we’re excited to be celebrating the 40th year of trout production at our Pequest State Trout Hatchery. Through the hard work of the NJ Fish & Wildlife staff working at this facility, we provide anglers year-round trout fishing opportunities during our spring, fall and winter trout stocking programs. This facility produces over 600,000 trout of catchable size for these programs. We thank you for your continued support of these trout programs through your fishing license and trout stamp purchases. We truly could not do this without you.
One of the biggest questions anglers often ask themselves is, “where should I fish today?” Or maybe for you it’s, “which species do I want to fish for today?” If these are the questions you find yourself asking, we have the resources you need. Our newly updated website (NJFishandWildlife.com) quickly and easily gets you the information you need. The new content and site layout provides detailed information on freshwater fish in New Jersey and a “How to Get Started” page for new anglers. There’s also a direct link to our “New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Explorer” app where anglers can use their computer or mobile devices to find information and maps on stocking locations and great places to fish close to home. If “knowledge is power,” these resources will make you one of the strongest anglers out on the water.
Fishing has always been one of my favorite outdoor pursuits. I remember fishing for the first time as a child and the thrill I felt when that first fish tugged on the line and pulled under the bobber. It is remembering this experience that has kept me interested in being outdoors and introducing young people to the life-long satisfaction of fishing. I encourage all of you to bring someone new fishing with you this year. Kids under the age of 16 are not required to get a fishing license in New Jersey so you should always encourage kids to come fishing with you. Sharing your experiences can create life-long memories for you and those you bring.
There is a community that exists around freshwater fishing in New Jersey with great people coming together and enjoying the great outdoors. As you’re out fishing this year, remember that we have a shared responsibility to keep the waters and shores in our state clean. Adopt a “pack-it-in and pack-it out” philosophy by taking all your trash and any loose fishing line with you when you’re done fishing for the day. If we all embrace this simple practice, our outdoor places will be much more welcoming when we venture out. Now let’s go fish!