Trout Season Opens

Raritan River Initiatives

Fishing Licenses and Trout Stamps are available online and at license agents

Some 570,000 healthy and robust rainbow trout will be stocked in waters across New Jersey for the spring trout season. As many as 180,000 of these feisty fish will be stocked by the time the season kicks off April 4.

“In New Jersey, the spring trout season is a tradition shared by generations of anglers who take this opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and some of the finest fishing on the East Coast,” said Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin. “The numbers of trout released this spring will rival past production numbers. Now is a great time to get your fishing license and trout stamp and take part once again in this wonderful tradition.” In the coming months, the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will be stocking only rainbow trout, a hearty species that is resistant to furunculosis, a disease that has impacted brown and brook trout reared at the Division’s Pequest Trout Hatchery in Warren County.

All designated trout waters will be stocked this spring. Rainbow trout will be the only species raised at the hatchery for the next several years, until the future introduction of disease resistant strains of brook and brown trout can be established.  Anglers also should note that adult, 2-year-old rainbows, averaging 15-16 inches, will be ready for stocking once again this fall. Rainbow trout released in the coming months will average 10.5 inches long.

A fishing license and a trout stamp are required to fish for trout for anyone between the ages of 16 and 70. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 years and older can fish for free. Licenses and stamps may be obtained through license agents statewide, found at or purchased online at

For more information on the trout stocking program, visit: The full stocking schedule will be posted in March.  (Photo of rainbow trout