Chinook Salmon In New Jersey?

They Stocked Salmon In New Jersey

I have been reading old vintage newspapers lately and their are some great fishing news and stories in them from yesteryear. Its great pulling up bits and pieces of how the fishing was a hundred years ago. I came upon this article that was in the New York Sun in 1918 and it was about stocking Chinook Salmon in New Jersey and New England area lakes. I grew up in New York and have never heard of such a thing. Here’s the article in its entirety for your own eyes.

Chinook Salmon In Jersey Streams

An invitation to go salmon fishing, when suggested by a New Jersey man this spring, need not mean crossing tho continent to angle for the big fish In the Columbia or from other Pacific coast river, but may Indicate merely n brief trip to and a day’s outing on one of many lakes In his home commonwealth.

For the mighty Chinook, the great salmon of commerce, has been planted In many New Jersey taken during the last year, said the State Fish and Game Commission is preparing for a still larger distribution of these fish this year.

The successful manner In which the Chinook eggs were transported from Oregon to the New Jersey fish hatchery at Hackettstown, where they were hatched and the salmon reared to yearling size by Charles O. Hayford and his staff, is a striking demonstration of modern efficiency in fish culture.

How Baby Salmon Are Cared For –

Hundreds of residents of New Jersey have visited the hatchery to see the salmon in different stages of growth.

The salmon eggs, just before hatching, are almost as large as a garden pea. The tiny, wriggling, almost transparent fry, when they finally break from the eggs, carry with them a yolk sack that supplies them with food for several days.

When the contents of this sack are exhausted the fry are fed a highly nutritious preparation of ground meat and fish. This food produces quick growth, and the young fish are soon large enough to leave the shallow tanks in the hatching sheds and are then taken to the large concrete rearing ponds that cover many acres of the hatchery grounds.

Under the old system of restocking the streams, the fry were taken at once to river or lake, but the State has learned that this is the most expensive and the least satisfactory method of building up the fishing possibilities of public waters.

Flourish In Landlocked Waters –

A large percentage of the fry perished during transportation and handling at this tender age and many of those that were alive when dumped into strange waters were devoured by large fish before they became suddenly accustomed to their surroundings to seek the natural hiding places tor young fish.

The New Jersey commission now keeps the young fish, both salmon and trout, at the hatchery until they are large enough to take care of themselves when liberated. These larger fish soon become acclimated and breed naturally the first season in the new environment.

The United States Bureau of Fisheries first made the discovery that the Chinook Salmon will flourish in landlocked fresh waters. Experimental plantings of young fish were made in several New England lakes five years ago and fishermen are now catching salmon weighing twelve to fifteen pounds.

Of all fresh water angling, experienced sportsmen claim there is none that surpasses the thrill of hooking into, playing and landing the Chinook salmon.

New Jersey has many lakes where the conditions seems suitable for those fish and since April 1 this royal sport has been open to all anglers. The Chinook has been termed by Dr. John D. Quackenbos, who has watched its progress in New England streams with much interest, “the coming game fish of the East.”

What happened to this stocking program? I can only assume that at some point it was discontinued as a failed program but why did it fail. The article seemed to point to the fact that these fish “flourished” in these land locked lakes and fish got to 10 – 15 pound size. The only thing I can figure is that I know Salmon go back to where they hatch to spawn and that may be an issue if they can’t get there. I really didn’t find anything online except in California and Colorado. Any one know?

 Vintage Salmon Print

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