late summer and fall you might see the fleet of Hackettstown
Hatchery tankers stocking fish in a lake, pond or river
near you. In 2005, the four hatchery distribution trucks traveled
over 20,000 miles on Garden State roads delivering fish for
All fish raised at the Hackettstown facility are stocked in
public waters within the state. Funding for hatchery operations
comes from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses and from
Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program. Summaries
of fish distributed over the years document the numbers
and varieties stocked for recreational anglers.
are stocked by hand, either from nets or by float stocking from
boats. Along rivers, the trucks stop at a series of access points
to distribute the fish.
possible, fish are float stocked, a labor-intensive method which
helps ensure the success of the stockings and widely distributes
the fish. Before stocking begins the temperatures are taken
in both the tanker and the water body. If temperatures are within
5 degrees of each other it is safe to stock the fish. If the
temperatures are too far apart the fish may suffer thermal shock.
To prevent thermal shock hatchery workers add water from the
water body to the tank or live well to temper the tank water.
Hatchery workers then unload the fish from the distribution
trucks into a small live well on a boat.