State's trout stocking decision called a fishy idea

A state program is making sure there's plenty of trout available for summer fishing, but residents are still worried about the future of the pastime in the state.

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Division is stocking the state's ponds and lakes in advance of trout season. The season begins April 5.

Over the next few weeks, 2.7 million fish will be released into 200 New Jersey waterways.

Some residents feel the move is ill-timed, as some of the waterways to be stocked are located in state parks soon to be closed.

"We're curious as to what state leaders are thinking about," says Joanna Wolaver, of the New Jersey Audubon Society. "They made the investment in breeding the fish and stocking the ponds ? and now they're closing the parks."

A spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection argues that fishing areas will remain open even if parks close. Some residents feel the state decision, however, could be a nail in the coffin for New Jersey pastimes.

"Soon there will be no place to fish, no place to camp," says Fred Bercaw, of the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club. "I think it's wrong. Make cuts elsewhere."

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