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Moving Towards Spring


Today's 70 degree temperatures had many of us thinking about spring, now just a few days away. Our spring deliveries continue to arrive. This past weekend, we welcomed back Daylight Savings Time. Thus armed with all of these favorable portents, I decided to try my luck on my first fish of March. Instead I was greeted by one of our newest friends Shannon Somerville, cautioning me about lightning and rumbles of thunder. I soon realized he was correct and that the portents that I had hoped would lead me to that elusive March trout instead had me executing a strategic retreat.

One thing is certain, spring is almost here. This Sunday night March 17th at midnight, lakes, ponds, rivers and streams stocked with trout under general regulations will close and re-open on Saturday April 6th at 8am. The water bodies are closed for the purpose of stocking the first 180,000 of what will ultimately be about 570,000 Rainbow Trout averaging about 10.5 inches in length but including trout up to seven pounds. The South Branch of the Raritan will recieve a total of about 40,000 trout this spring while the Musconetcong is expecting about 53,000 fish. More detailed information can be found on the Division's website: https://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/trt_allocation19_dates.htm. Trout Conservation Areas or (TCA's) will be open to catch and release fishing with artificial lures only and some