Approximately 1,200 salmon, reared to an average length of 13 inches, were recently stocked in three state park lakes. The fish were held in two 2,000 gallon tanks at the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery since their delivery in April.
With water temperatures hovering around the 50-degree mark, Hackettstown staff stocked the salmon, ranging from 12-15 inches and a pound each, as follows:
Wawayanda Lake – 685
Lake Aeroflex – 275
Tilcon Lake – 240
The fish were float stocked in Wawayanda Lake and Lake Aeroflex, but due to a lack of a ramp suitable for launching a boat with a live well the hatchery crew waded in from the shoreline to stock Tilcon Lake.
As part of the continuing interstate cooperation between New Jersey and several other northeastern states, the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s’s Roger Reed Salmon Hatchery had provided a total of 2,000 salmon measuring 8.5 inches in late April. Hatchery staff immediately stocked 800 of the fish the day of delivery in the following waters as follows:
Wawayanda Lake – 456
Lake Aeroflex – 184
Tilcon Lake – 160
Between this year’s stockings and previous stockings, salmon fishing in New Jersey is now among the best in the region.
Since the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Salmon Stocking Program began in 2006, a total of 24,128 salmon have been stocked. (See the past stocking records.) The catchable size holdover program began in 2013 when rearing tank space became available following the documentation of Lake Trout natural reproduction in both Round Valley and Merrill Creek reservoirs.
Since 2013, a total of 11,700 salmon over twelve inches in length have been stocked. These larger fish have created excellent fisheries in all three waters shown by recent angler reports of catches of 30 – 40 fish in a single day. Anglers are reporting larger fish reaching five to six pounds with a recent report of a salmon over 7 pounds caught and released. Thee big fish makes John Mount’s 1951 State Record of 8 pounds from Lake Aeroflex very reachable in 2017.
Anglers are urged to report catches of these fish by e-mailing the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries at: email@example.com. Please attach photos of your catch.
See www.njfishandwildlife.com/salmon.htm for more information on Landlocked Salmon in New Jersey.