Trout Season Is Underway

April 18, 2017
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Holmdel Park Pond was stocked with 160 rainbow trout on Wednesday afternoon, signaling the start of the 2017 trout fishing season. Nearly 570,000 rainbow trout will be stocked in New Jersey waters this year. All photos by Jay Cook

By Jay Cook |

HOLMDEL – It’s time to start digging out those old fly-fishing lures and spooling up the flyreels.

The much-anticipated trout fishing season in New Jersey opened this past Saturday, and many Two River water ways are ready to be fished by anglers of all ages.

On Wednesday afternoon, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife made its way down to Holmdel for the first in-season stocking of 160 rainbow trout at Holmdel Park Pond. Two more in-season trout stocks will occur over the next two weeks, bringing in 320 more trout over that span.

A popular spot known for its easy access, fishermen at Holmdel Park Pond can forget about boat launching or checking if the boat battery was charged overnight. The accessibility from the shore- line makes for worry-free casting right into the water.

Holmdel Park is one of 14 freshwater locations throughout Monmouth County that will be stocked with 18-month-old rainbow trout this season, which opened at 8 a.m. April 8. They are 10 1⁄2 inches long.

From April 10 through May 26, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife will be stocking 176 brooks, streams, rivers, lands and ponds across the state with 377,520 rainbow trout, said Ed Conley, superintendent at Pequest Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County.

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In total, 560,980 trout will be in state waters by the end of May. Pre-season rainbow trout stocking was from March 20 to April 7 – fishing was not allowed during that period.

Brian Kubin scoops out some of the 160 rainbow trout that were stocked at Holmdel Park on Wednesday. The pond will be stocked two more times until the season ends on May 26.

All of the rainbow trout stocked in state waters during this period come from Pequest, the state’s main trout hatchery, which has the capability to produce up to 700,000 trout for public fishing, according to the Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Conley said that trout fishing has been popular among New Jerseyans for one main reason.

“It’s carried down from generation to generation,” Conley said.

It’s exactly the reason why Steve Prentiss was out fishing Wednesday morning. Every year, the Florida resident makes his way back to New Jersey to spend the week trout fishing with his dad. They hit a number of different spots throughout Monmouth County, but Holmdel Park is always the last stop before he heads home.

“I’ve been coming here since I was a kid, man,” Prentiss said. “This is home for me.”

As the delivery truck pulled up to the pond just after 11 a.m., 14-year-old Chris Richter of Middletown emerged from his mom’s car to run down to the pond. He said he enjoys fishing at Holmdel Park.

“It’s close, it’s local and they have rangers here,” Richter said. “It’s good that they can regulate people and abide by the rules.”

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For New Jersey residents, anglers need both a fishing license and a trout stamp for the age group between 16- and 69-year-olds. Licenses cost $22.50 for residents up to age 64. The senior resident fishing license costs $12.50. A New Jersey resident trout stamp runs $10.50, and a nonresident trout stamp would cost out-of-state fishermen $20.

Licenses and stamps can be purchased online through the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website, as well as in person at a number of locations across the state. For Two River residents, the closest stores to purchase a fishing license are Dick’s Sporting Goods in Freehold, and Wal-Mart locations in Freehold and Neptune.

Town, Body of Water, and Number of Trout

Colts Neck, Yellow Brook, 360

Englishtown, Englishtown Mill Pond, 1,390

Freehold, Topenemus Lake, 1,390

Holmdel, Holmdel Park Pond, 690

Howell, Echo Lake, 1,170

Manasquan, Mac’s Pond, 160

Navesink, Garvey’s Pond, 520

Ocean, Shark River, 1,850

Red Bank, Mohawk Pond, 690

Shrewsbury, Hockhocksen Brook, 1,290

Spring Lake, Spring Lake, 1,430

Wall , Manasquan River, 8,820

Wall, Mingamahome Brook, 880

West Long Branch, Franklin Lake, 1,170

This article was first published in the April 13-20, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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