JEFFERSON – On Saturday afternoon, one week after the ice melted away in Lake Hopatcong, the Knee Deep Club held its annual trout stocking event at Dow’s Boat Rental in Nolan’s Point.
According to Stan Mikulka, KDC trustee, the lake is now home to 1,400 new brown and rainbow trout, mostly in the 13-inch to 14-inch range, with some measuring up to twenty inches.
Two transport trucks from the Musky Trout Hatchery in Asbury, NJ delivered the fish. One truck parked at Dow’s where volunteers gathered
to help distribute the fish to spots around the lake. The windy weather—winds were clocked at 20 mph—and the late thaw, kept many volunteers and their boats at home. But four boat owners did brave the choppy water and stiff wind to successfully stock about 1000 fish in the lake, making multiple trips from the docks at Dow’s. The other truck from the hatchery used lake access ramps at the Mount Arlington beach, Lee’s County Park, the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club and the fire lane on Bertrand’s Island to drop the rest of the fish into the lake.
Two trophy fish were also floated into the lake, a brown trout weighing in at about 10 pounds and a smaller tiger trout, weighing in at about 8 pounds.
“With the ice leaving one week ago, it really pinched our man power,” said Eddie Mackin, KDC president. “Luckily with what we have we made do.”
The club holds it’s first fishing contest (trout and pickerel) of the year on Sunday, April 26. For more information about the Knee Deep Club visit www.kneedeepclub.org.