Dows Boat Rentals
The Lake Hopatcong Report from Laurie Murphy at Dows Boat Rentals doesn't have much to say for Trout Opening Day, but some interesting fish otherwise have been caught. Laurie wrote that the lake did not completely melt out until Friday, a day before the season opener for trout. Due to the furunculosis outbreak at Pequest Hatchery, only 2000 trout will make it into the lake this spring. However, the Knee Deep Club has reached out to the Lake Hopatcong Foundation for help in getting more fish stocked by member's and anyone else's help. The Foundation, agreeing to a one time matching grant, requires that Knee Deep collect $5000.00 before stocking trout April 26th, and it will match this amount. This is a chance to make a donation and go fishing, because, for one, Dows is open and renting boats, and secondly, there will be more trout to catch in the lake, whether by boat or from shore. I'm making my donation out of a sense of inclusion with other club members. I don't fish trout on Lake Hopatcong, but I do fish hybrid stripers and walleyes, two fish that Knee Deep has gone a long way towards establishing and maintaining. If this were a routine stocking, I would simply look the other way, since I fish trout elsewhere. But the club is trying to make up for a lack in the seasonal fishery the state normally provides for the most part, and anyone and everyone who fishes trout in the lake will be benefitted by at least the possibility of more fish.
They're not "only" hatchery trout. They're trout. People prize this fish because that's what they really are--living fish requiring skill to hook and play, and worthy of admiration. We admire fish for their beauty. In part, because fish are where we came from--the water--life flourishing as fish life in the ocean long before any did on land. And fish began the vertebral venturing onto land (before they were amphibians), which evolved into us. What is a hatchery trout that we breed? Our own care.
Laurie reports that Michael Attanasio was excited with his 4 pound, 9 ounce pickerel, a very nice one, bigger than any I've caught. Dan Lehr caught perch and crappie, as well as largemouth and pickerel from 2 1/2 to 3 pounds.