By: Kyle Richter
Congratulations to Les Barbie of Rutherford, Kevin Cool of Flanders, Lou Marcucci of Mt. Arlington, Jim Salerno of Hopatcong, and Bob Smith of Oxford, who each won a $100 VISA gift card for reporting tagged trout they caught on Lake Hopatcong!
In 2022, the Lake Hopatcong Foundation, Lake Hopatcong Commission, and Knee Deep Club embarked on the first year of a three-year trout study. The study aims to assess the long-term population dynamics of larger stocked trout and the general health of Lake Hopatcong. As part of the study, 1,000 tagged 12"-14" brown trout were stocked in Lake Hopatcong at the end of March 2022. Anglers were asked to report any tagged trout they caught, providing valuable data to identify habitat management, stocking practices, and conservation projects to sustain a high-quality trout fishery at Lake Hopatcong.
Those who reported a tagged trout were entered into a drawing to win one of five $100 VISA gift cards (five awarded EACH YEAR), generously donated by Live the Lake NJ.
Year two of the trout study will begin with the stocking of an additional 1,000 brown trout, tentatively scheduled for March 26, 2023. Anyone who catches a tagged trout is again encouraged to report it. Last summer was extremely warm with extended periods of little to no rain. Year two of this study will provide a better understanding of how key species of trout respond to the changes in climate and extreme weather patterns we have been experiencing.
When you catch a tagged trout, take note of the color of the tag, measure your catch, and, if possible, take a photo of the trout with the tag (to help maintain the health of the fish, please wet your hand before handling). After you have safely released the trout, report your catch through the form at LHCtrout.com. You will need to know the date and location of the catch, the tag color, and the length of the fish. There will also be a place to upload your photo.
If you choose to keep the fish, please report your catch through the form at LHCtrout.com and turn the tag(s) in at Dow’s Boat Retail (145 Nolan’s Point Rd, Lake Hopatcong) or Lake’s End Marina (91 Mt Arlington Blvd, Landing). Or mail them to the Knee Deep Club (PO Box 404, Lake Hopatcong NJ 07849).
At the end of each year, five participants will be randomly selected to receive a $100 Visa gift card. To be eligible for prizes, you must report your catch through the form and include a photo of the fish with the tag or turn the tag in at one of the locations mentioned above.
Please note that all participants must comply with all NJ Fish and Wildlife regulations and entrants must be licensed and possess a trout stamp if the trout is kept. We do ask that all efforts be made to release the trout with the tag back into the lake in order to improve the study’s success.
We thank you for your help and happy fishing!