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Group Programs at the Pequest Trout Hatchery

Due to COVID-19 the Pequest facility is closed to all public and group visitation. The WMA grounds remain open.
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The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers a year-round line of programming for schools and organized groups at the Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center. All programs are designed to support most major subject areas in grades pre-K - 12 while teaching about wildlife and the environment, and can be used to meet state standards for core course proficiencies as well as scout badge requirements.

Hikes focusing on wildlife habitat and natural resources, sessions on river ecology, fishing, biology and many other programs are offered.

All programs are geared to be fun, hands-on learning experiences that participants are sure to enjoy.

For program details, see the descriptions below.

Schedule a Group Program

Guidelines for Booking a Program

Programs must be:

  • Booked at least one month in advance
  • Scheduled between the hours of 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday only
  • For groups between 10 - 25 students only
  • If requesting multiple program dates, please complete one form for each date.


  • A non-refundable program deposit of $50 is required for each date you are scheduled for, and must be received within one month after receiving confirmation of the program date.
  • Programs can be rescheduled for an additional $50.
On the Day of Your Program
  • Programs are taught outside; dress for the weather.
  • You may have lunch at our outdoor picnic areas, but you must take your garbage and recyclables with you.
  • Wear long pants, appropriate footwear, hats and sunglasses to protect you from the elements.
  • Group leaders and chaperones are expected to assist students with activities.
Groups Are Expected To:
  • Notify us in advance of any special needs or considerations for your group.
  • Arrive on time. Lateness will not be tolerated. Please contact us if delayed while en route.
  • Arrive with at least the minimum number of students, but no more than the number scheduled for.
  • Behave. Group leaders are responsible for maintaining discipline.
  • Treat our equipment respectfully, as though it is your own.
  • Cancel with a minimum of 48 hours notice if you need to do so.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. How far in advance can I schedule my group program?
A. Program scheduling begins on January 2 of the year in which you wish to bring a group.

Q. Can I schedule a program for my Scouts?
A. Any organized group can schedule a program as long as they meet the program requirements listed above.

Q. Do you accommodate special needs groups, or individuals with a disability in a group?
A. Yes, provided you notify us at the time a program is scheduled so we can provide the best possible experience for your group.

Q. Can I schedule my group for multiple days?
A. Groups are welcome to visit the facility no more than twice a year.

Q. If I schedule my group for multiple dates, do I need multiple deposits?
A. No, but the deposit amount must reflect the number of dates you are scheduled to visit the hatchery. If you repeatedly fail to meet the rules and guidelines expected of your group, you might not be allowed to return for future programs and the deposit will not be refunded.

Q. Can I pay with a credit card?
A. No. We are only able to take checks.

Q. Can I send a personal check?
A. Personal checks are welcome, as long as you realize that the check will be kept.

Q. Can you come to our site for a program?
A. Programs are provided at the Pequest site only.


Pequest Group Program Registration Form

Questions? E-mail the program coordinator with any questions.


Title Description Grades Length Times Offered
Trout Habitat Exploration Hike along the Pequest River looking at the river ecology and explore what makes the river a good home for trout. We will take a hands-on look at shelter, oxygen, water temperature, food and space in the river. 5 - 12 2 hours April - October
Fishing Basics Learn the basics of fishing – equipment set-up, knot tying, casting and more. This hands-on session will give you all the basics that you need to go fishing on your own. Presentation will be followed by an actual fishing experience at the Education Pond. 3 - 12 2 hours April - October
Hatchery Tour Take a tour of the Pequest Trout Hatchery where more than 700,000 trout are raised each year! The program includes a session on identification and biology, a 15-minute video showing behind-the- scenes operations at the facility and will end with a guided tour of the hatchery grounds. K - 12 2 hours Year-round
Fish Fun Games Learn about the habits of fish through a variety of hands-on games that will educate you about fish, their biology, their habits and some of the challenges that they face in rivers and ponds. K - 12 2 hours Year-round
Trout Fry Children have an innate interest in wildlife and the natural world around them. This reading program jump-starts their imagination about diverse animals and habitats using stories, songs and hands-on craft activities. Students will observe the natural world in a short walk at Pequest and learn about a specific wildlife species. 3 – 5 years 1.5 hours Year-round
Habitat Hike Students will explore various habitats on the Pequest Wildlife Management Area. Tracks and other wildlife signs, plants and more may be explored depending on who visited there before us. 4 – 12 2 hours Year-round

Public programs are also offered at Pequest.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2020
Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: October 16, 2020