If you're fishing around for something sporty to do in Middletown this weekend, cast your information line no further than a nearby lake or pond — perhaps Shadow Lake, in the River Plaza section, or Garvey's Pond in Navesink.
Tomorrow is opening day of trout season and, according to the state Department of Evnironmental Protection (DEP), area waters are fully stocked to accommodate its official start at 8 a.m. on Saturday.
Throughout the state, about 200 streams, lakes and ponds have been filled by the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife staff with more than 180,000 trout for anglers to bait and catch. The stocking process lasted a couple of weeks.
According to the DEP, about 100,000 anglers statewide are expected to participate in this advent of the trout fishing season.
"Opening day of the trout season is truly a remarkable event, one that connects families and friends in a cherished tradition of spring," said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. "The Christie Administration understands just how important this tradition is to the many thousands of New Jersey residents and visitors who cast their lines for these prized fish, and the importance of protecting the environment around trout waters to ensure the continued high quality of water that is needed to support these fish."
The Division of Fish and Wildlife will continue stocking trout over the next couple months until a total of nearly 600,000 fish have been placed in 88 streams and 90 ponds and lakes throughout New Jersey. These will include 6,000 big trout - 3- to 8-pounders - that will join big trout released last fall and winter that eluded capture.
Each of nine ponds and small lakes will get special allocations of 30 to 50 large trout that measure 16 to 24 inches and weigh 3 to 8 pounds each. The locations of those nine sites and other important spring trout stocking information are posted on the Fish and Wildlife Web site.
Weekly in-season trout stocking information is also available by calling the Trout Stocking Hotline at 609- 633-6765.
"Trout fishing has truly never been better in New Jersey,'' said DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Chanda. "The fact that Trout Stamp sales have increased nearly 20 percent since 2005 and that sales to out-of-state residents are increasing tell us clearly that the word is spreading about the quality of the trout we stock and the wonderful experiences people are having fishing New Jersey's fabulous trout waters.''
Fishing for trout in New Jersey requires a license and trout stamp for anglers between the ages of 16 and 70. Anglers under age 16 and 70 years of age and older do not need a fishing license or trout stamp.
Buying a fishing license and trout stamp can be done easily through the Division of Fish and Wildlife's Automated Licensing System. Anglers can buy and print a fishing license and trout stamp online or can purchase a license and stamp at one of more than 200 license agent locations throughout the state.
For more information about trout fishing and all other freshwater fishing in New Jersey, including regulations, stocking schedules and trout fishing locations click here.