The fishing will be especially good at the Pond for the opening day of trout fishing season this year.
On Thursday, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife dumped about 210 hatchery-raised brook, brown, and rainbow trout into the 5-acre pond at Holmdel Park, for the opening day of public fishing season on Saturday, April 7 at 8 a.m. This year Holmdel was selected as one of several sites for significantly larger bonus broodstock trout -- mature fish that weigh 3 - 7 lbs, ranging from 17 to 24 inches. No doubt there will be enthused fishermen waiting in their cars Saturday morning watching for the dawn, as in past years.
Holmdel Park's glassy pond is one of several local fishing holes that were stocked by the NJ DEP this week. All told, the DEP has transferred more than 180,000 trout to 200 streams, rivers and lakes in New Jersey's 21 counties. More than 100,000 people statewide are expected to turn out with fishing poles on Saturday. Around Monmouth County, that you'll find them at Lake Lefferts in Matawan, Poricy Pond and Shadow Lake in Middletown, and Englishtown Mill Pond (Lake Weamaconk) in Manalapan. For more places in Monmouth County, see this list. Echo Lake in Howell is the only other body of water in the county that will also get bonus trout.
Over a seven-week period following opening day, nearly a half-million more trout will be released by the DEP. According to the schedule, Holmdel Park pond will be re-fortified three times with deliveries of 160 fish each time, on Wednesday, April 11; Friday April 20; and Tuesday, April 24,
The rules for fishing at Holmdel Park are that the fish have to be at least 9" for the taking, and anglers are limited to just 6 trout each. After June 1, the daily limit goes down to 4. The season ends on May 31.
A fishing license and trout stamp are required to fish for trout and salmon if you are 16 years of age or older. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 years and older can fish for free.
The kids get special kindnesses from the old-timers, who are generally generous with their knowledge. Around Holmdel Park's pond, I've discovered that most of them will string a pole or bait a hook for a clueless mother of young children. You just have to ask.
The in-season stocking schedule covering the seven weeks following opening day is available online and through the Trout Stocking Hotline at 609-633-6765.