Anyone with an interest in fish, wildlife or the outdoors will enjoy a visit to the state-of-the-art Pequest Trout Hatchery and Natural Resource Education Center. Pequest began operations when trout production was transferred from the Charles O. Hayford Hatchery in Hackettstown in 1981.
Open Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the center offers visitors a look at how more than 600,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout are raised each year for stocking the public waters of New Jersey.
A self-guided tour allows visitors to see where the trout are actually raised. The exhibit hall contains live fish as well as a display of mounted New Jersey wildlife specimens. The entire facility is barrier-free.
Children will find the interactive displays fun as well as educational. Visitors are encouraged to take advantage of the hiking trails, including the self-guided interpretive “Natural Resources Trail,” picnic areas and free literature. Many opportunities exist for hunting, hiking, fishing and birding on the 4800-acres.
A list of upcoming weekday programs can be viewed on-line. Organized group programs may be scheduled and can include an actual fishing experience at the “Fishing Education Pond.”