The New Jersey Fish and Game Council has schedule a public hearing for the proposed 2000 Fish Code at 7:30 p.m., August 10, at the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife^s Assunpink Conservation Center on Eldridge Road in Robbinsville, Monmouth County.
"All New Jersey anglers are encouraged to attend and actively take part in shaping the future of their sport," said Division Director Bob McDowell.
The Fish Code describes the legal angling methods, season dates, size and catch limits, and trout stocking locations for freshwater fishing in the Garden State. The regulations are reviewed annually, updated, appropriately revised based on biological findings and changing situations, and then proposed for the next year^s code.
Anglers should note the following proposed changes.
Opening day of the trout season has been set for Saturday, April 8, at 8:00 a.m. All waters that were stocked with trout last year will be stocked again this year. Two lakes, Rowands Pond in Clementon, Camden County and White Lake in Hardwick, Warren County, will be added to the stocking list.
Prospertown Lake in Ocean County and the Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas on the Pequest and Pequannock rivers will remain open for trout fishing during the pre-season trout stocking closure. However, all trout caught during this period must be released. No fishing will be allowed in the two Seasonal Trout Conservation Areas on April 8, until 8 a.m.
White Lake in Hardwick, Warren County will be designated as a "Holdover Trout Lake" and the creel limit for trout here will be four from April 8 to May 31, and two for the remainder of the season.
Delaware Lake in Warren County will be designated as a "Lunker Bass Lake." The creel limit for largemouth bass and smallmouth bass will be three and the minimum size will be 15 inches.
Ryker Lake, which is now part of the Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Sussex County, will be part of a special management program to determine if a high quality panfish population can be maintained by size limits (seven inches for sunfish) and reduced creel limits (ten for both sunfish and yellow perch). In addition, the size limit for largemouth bass here will be 15 inches and the daily creel limit shall be two.
Fishing within 100 feet of any fish ladder will be prohibited during the period of March 1 through June 30. At some locations, the restricted area will be defined by posters and fishing may be allowed within 100 feet.
Currently, the striped bass season is open from March 1 to December 31 upstream of the Trenton Falls, while downstream of the Trenton Falls it is closed from April 1 to May 31. The entire river is closed for striped bass from January 1 to the end of February. The proposed 2000 Fish Code will change the cut-off point from the Trenton Falls to the Route 1 Bridge, which is immediately downstream of the Trenton Falls.
To obtain a copy of the proposed 2000 Fish Code, send a self-addressed, stamped (two stamps) 11" x 14" envelope to the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife, P.O. Box 400, Trenton, NJ 08625-0400, Attention: Fish Code. Written comments regarding the code should be submitted by August 18 to Director Bob McDowell at the same address.