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The scenic Musconetcong River is a popular rainbow, wild brook trout, and wild brown trout fishery in northwestern New Jersey. It is one of the few watersheds that still have a population of native Eastern Brook Trout in the mid-Atlantic region. We at the Central Jersey Chapter have worked extensively in the past to improve habitat and monitor conditions on the Musconetcong, including working with Rutgers University to track water temperatures to more accurately relocate the designated trout conservation area. We have developed new plans now to restore a section of the river that was once in the hands of a private fishing club. Over the course of their extended lease, the club attempted to improve trout habitat by installing structures such as stone weirs and dams. These constructed features did the exact opposite of the club’s intention; instead of creating deep pools and habitat for trout, the structures produced an overly widened channel and increased sedimentation throughout the reach. The project that we propose will remediate the man-made problems along this 1,200-foot stretch by excavating six pools, making them deep enough to connect to groundwater, providing trout with thermal refuge in summer months. The project will also enhance riffles for macro invertebrate growth and trout spawning, provide in-stream structures to give trout prime feeding lies, and the banks will be restored then planted with native species to prevent future erosion. The project will turn this stretch of the Musconetcong into a much-needed year-round trout refuge.

Central New Jersey Chapter

George Hryvniak

Pluckemin, NJ 07978