Sunday, April 21, 2013


When it was proposed by Fish & Wildlife that the in-season closure on the Black River in Hacklebarney State Park be dropped, there were a few snickers that suggested that conservation officers were just tired of making the half-mile hike from the parking area down the stream to check for violators... folks fishing before the 5 p.m. start on stocking days.
"Nothing is further  from the truth," said Lisa Barno in an e-mail. Barno is Chief of the Bureau of Fisheries.
She added, "two years ago CO's asked if we had ever looked into in-season closures - and admittedly it had been a number of years since in-season closures had been discussed. Their request was based on that when given the option Conservation Officers do prefer to maximize dtheir positive public reaction by patrolling when anglers are fishing as opposed to enforcing a closure, thus by design, limiting public interaction and preventing anglers from fishing - which seems contrary to the intent of stocking.
There are 16 waters, including Black River, closed from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. on stocking days.
Barno said when looking over the list "we kept coming back to the Black River as it is less utilized than the other 15 waters with in-season closures and also because access was a good half-mile from the stream."
She added the later situation complicates the enforcement of the closure (delayed response to calls concering illegal fishing, additional time to patrol) that "it seemed one to consider for potential removal."
Again, this is a proposal. There will be a public comment period in late summer/early fall before the Fish & Game Council votes on proposed changes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


There was plenty of sunshine, but temperatures hovered just above freezing and a pesky wind made it seem more like weather associated with the opening of buck season than trout.
We didn't bother to wet a line up at Pequest, just chatted with colleagues and some fish and game personnel keeping hands wrapped around our hot coffee container.
But heaps of hardy souls were out and for the first time in a few years we actually saw trout being the Pequest behind the hatchery were wading anglers crowded around productive holes and riffs as well as a happy bunch of kids at the education pond at the hatchery. It was good to see younsters out and about in the outdoors instead of having their little faces planted in some electronic gizmo.
We also saw anglers coming out of the Musky with hefty stringers of trout.
Stocking continues this week, with hopefully warmer weather.


By the looks of some of the lush pelts hanging at one of the displays at the recent Pequest Open House it's obvious some New Jersey trappers did well last season.
You can find out about fur prices as well as info on coyotes and racoons in dthe Spring 2013 New Jersey Furbearer Management Newsletter at
It's in PDF format, look for a link from the trapping information page.