DEP announces trout season in New Jersey will begin on April 10


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More than 500,000 freshly stocked rainbow trout will be available when anglers cast their lines in New Jersey waters this April, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Acting Commissioner Shawn LaTourette announced.

The official trout season kicks off at 8 a.m. April 10. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, anglers are reminded to maintain a 6-foot distance from one another while fishing and to wear a face masks or face covering, according to a press release.

“Thanks to DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, which has been hard at work with advanced trout stocking, New Jersey residents and visitors can enjoy trout fishing while avoiding crowds and maintaining social distancing, because the trout raised at our Pequest Hatchery have already had time to spread out themselves,” LaTourette said.
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An additional 70,000 to 75,000 trout will be stocked during the week of May 10, bringing the spring stocking total to more than 570,000 trout. There will be no in-season closures on any waters. Most trout being stocked will average more than 10 inches in length, according to the press release.

From April 10 to May 31, the minimum legal catch size is 9 inches, with a daily limit of six trout in most trout waters.

Beginning June 1 and continuing through March 20, 2022, the catch size will remain the same and the daily limit will drop to four trout.

The Bonus Broodstock Program is suspended for 2021 due to an accelerated stocking program. Instead, approximately 6,000 2- and 3-year-old broodstock, ranging in size from 14 inches to 26 inches and weighing up to 7 pounds, will be stocked this spring in waters across the state that are suitable for fish of that size and which do not conflict with management goals.

For spring trout fishing information, visit

Rules and regulations regarding freshwater fishing in New Jersey can be found in the 2021 Freshwater Fishing Digest at

Print copies of the digest are also available at license agents.

Anyone age 16 or older must obtain a New Jersey fishing license and trout stamp to fish for trout. Anglers may purchase these at or through license agents. For a list of agents, visit

Anglers may also save money through the Buddy Up and Save! program. Introduce a family member or a friend to fishing by getting a fishing buddy license. This license offers an existing angler and new angler (or even two new anglers) an opportunity to receive discounted fishing licenses. For information about the fishing buddy license, visit

The Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Pequest Trout Hatchery is supported with proceeds from the sale of fishing licenses, trout stamps and federal funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Sport Fish Restoration Program, according to the press release.

The dedicated funding received from the purchase of a fishing license and fishing equipment enables the Division of Fish and Wildlife to enhance fishing opportunities in New Jersey and protect the quality of the state’s waters for fish, wildlife and people, according to the press release.

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