New Jersey hatchery stocks record 5 million fish in 2017

Hackettstown stocked 308,808 northern pike in 2017. (NJDFW photo)

The Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery in Warren County stocked a record five million cold-, cool-, and warm-water fish consisting of 15 species in 2017, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin announced this week.

The fish, totaling 5,082,841 with a total weight of more than 26,000 pounds, were produced at the location and many were stocked in approximately 200 waters throughout the state from March through November.

Those five million-plus fish included cool-water species such as northern pike, walleye, and muskies. Hackettstown stocked 308,808 northern pike, 2.3 million walleye, and 343,311 muskies.

The season also included strong year classes of warm-water species such as channel catfish – 598,174; largemouth bass – 110,445; and hybrid striped bass – 47,315.

Not all the Hackettstown fish stocked are directly available to anglers, however. County mosquito commissions utilized 548,000 fathead minnows, and Gambusia (commonly called mosquitofish) to combat mosquito larvae in stagnant waters. Since 1991, the hatchery has reared more than 5.6 million fish to help combat mosquito borne diseases such as West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Chikungunya.

In addition, 655,000 golden shiners were stocked in Round Valley Reservoir to help boost the forage base in one of New Jerseys best cold water fisheries. The hatchery has stocked more than 1.5 million shiners in Round Valley over the past five years.

In addition, some 171,788 fish of other species were raised in 2017 setting the facility’s new yearly production record at 5,082,841, far surpassing the previous high of 3,774,885 set in 2014.

For more information about the Hackettstown State Fish Hatchery, click here.

— New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife

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