Large Salmon Stocked in Tilcon Lake, Morris County

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The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced that Tilcon Lake received its first stocking of landlocked salmon on April 17. Nearly 200 large salmon, averaging 18 inches and ranging in size from 15-20 inches in length, were stocked in the Morris County lake.

Stocked salmon averaged 18" in length Click to enlarge

Stocked salmon averaged 18″ in length

The salmon, averaging about 2¼ pounds, with some nearly 3½ pounds, had been growing at the Hackettstown State Fish Hatcherysince their arrival last May. The salmon had been fed a high protein, pelleted diet and fathead minnows to prepare them for release into the wild. Since the salmon program’s beginning in 2006 the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has been providing us with surplus fingerling salmon every May, free of charge.

Located in Mt. Olive Township, within Allamuchy Mountain State Park, Tilcon Lake is the newest (2014) addition to our Holdover Trout Lake roster. When the Musconetcong River breached its banks during severe flood events in the early 2000’s, water from the river inundated this former quarry creating the lake. The lake is approximately 50 feet deep at its deepest point. As its history as a former quarry suggests, the shoreline is rugged (steep, sometimes vertical slopes) and the lake bottom drops off quickly from the shoreline into deep water (currently there is no contour map of the lake bottom available).

Surplus brook and brown trout from the Pequest Trout Hatchery had been occasionally stocked in the lake (2007 – 2009) but now the coldwater fishery in this small (88 acre) lake will be managed exclusively for salmon. Anglers are allowed to keep 2 salmon daily (minimum size 12 inches) except during the pre-season fishing closure prior to the opening day of the trout season in April.

Smallmouth bass fingerlings from the Hackettstown hatchery have also been recently stocked (2011 – 2013). Other fishes present include largemouth and smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, sunfish, yellow perch, and crappie. Statewide fishing regulations apply for these species and nglers should consult the Freshwater Fishing Digest for applicable fishing regulations.

Visible from Rt. 80, the lake can be accessed by parking at the entrance on Kinney Road (named Kennedy Rd. in Google Maps, and which intersects Rt. 604 south of I-80). From the entrance it is a short walk (300 yards over level ground) to the lake. Boating (electric motor only) is allowed, however, boats must be portaged (hand-carried) from the entrance. There is no entrance fee but anglers must have a valid fishing license and, when fishing for trout/salmon, a valid trout stamp.

Visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/salmon.htm for more information on landlocked salmon in New Jersey.

GPS Coordinates for Tilcon Lake (entrance/parking area): DMS 40° 54′ 28.8″ N; 74° 46′ 16.3″ W

For more on salmon stocking in Tilcon Lake see the following article and video feature on the nj.com website:

Video by Andre Malok
New Jersey has expanded its salmon fishing