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Wild Trout Stream Regulations Proposal


April 6, 2017

In 2014, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife initiated a multi-year assessment to review the current Wild Trout Stream (WTS) regulations, collect and analyze data, and develop regulations that will better address recreational fishing opportunities for, and conservation needs of, the state's wild trout fisheries. The main goal of the regulation set under consideration is to:

(1) protect and enhance all wild Brook Trout (NJ's only native trout species, soon to be listed as a species of Special Concern), and to
(2) protect and enhance all wild trout populations (including wild Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout).
As Brook Trout populations in New Jersey, and elsewhere in their native range, have endured major declines in their distribution, New Jersey is considering regulations for proposed rule change for the 2018-2019 Fish Code that would include catch and release regulations on Brook Trout in the Northwest section of the state (encompassing the large majority of where their wild Brook Trout populations occur). Additionally, four different regulation sets are being considered to help manage the diversity, highlight fish species in specific streams, and identify opportunities to catch more and bigger wild trout.

The Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries is providing opportunity for anglers to comment early, before the changes are officially drafted into formal rule-making proposal (mid-May/June, 2017).

Please provide comment by May 5, 2017 to:

Wild Trout Stream Regulations Proposal Overview (pdf, 3.5mb)
Current (2017) Wild Trout Stream Regulations (pdf, 100kb)
Proposed WTS Regulation Sets (pdf, 250kb)
Proposed WTS Zone (pdf, 105kb)

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: April 6, 2017