It's free fishing this weekend in NJ waters

| 21 Feb 2012 | 10:46

    TRENTON-Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced New Jersey's annual Free Fishing Days will be held Saturday, June 12, and Sunday, June 13, offering residents and visitors an opportunity to fish the state's public waters without a license or trout stamp. "Free Fishing Days are a wonderful time for children and adults to learn how to fish and for visitors to sample some of the finest freshwater fishing in the Northeast," Campbell said. Healthy freshwater fish populations are located throughout New Jersey, thanks in part to the DEP's Hackettstown and Pequest fish hatcheries. These populations include muskellunge, northern pike, walleye, hybrid striped bass, channel catfish and lake trout in larger lakes, and brook, brown and rainbow trout stocked in smaller streams and waterways. Any smallmouth or largemouth bass caught during this time must be released. The Pequest Trout Hatchery sponsors free programs throughout the year, including fishing classes during both Free Fishing Days. Residents are encouraged to register early for the classes by calling (908) 637-4125. Pequest's Natural Resource Education Center features wildlife exhibits, a butterfly garden, picnic areas and hiking trails. There also is a handicapped-accessible fishing site along the Pequest River. To assist anglers, the DEP's Division of Fish & Wildlife publishes "Places to Fish," which features only those waters with adequate populations of desirable species, and areas that guarantee public access. Free Fishing Days are held in conjunction with National Boating and Fishing Week. For more information on fishing in New Jersey, including Free Fishing Days, places to fish, fishing classes, regulations, feature articles and species fact sheets, visit the DEP's Web site at