Saltwater fishing gets the headlines in the Jersey Shore area, but freshwater fishing, to many, is just as important.
Saturday is opening day for trout season in New Jersey, and Ocean County waterways were no exception to stocking efforts performed by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Division employees stocked waterways with more than 180,000 hatchery-raised trout Thursday in preparation for opening weekend, said Jim Sciascia, Chief of Information and Education for the division.
Click on the video stream to the right to see the stocking as it happened on Thursday.
All of the fish are raised at the Pequest Trout Hatchery in Warren County, which is supported by the money raised from the sale of freshwater fishing licenses. The hatchery raises about 600,000 fish each year.
In Ocean County, the Metedeconk River, Echo Lake, the Manasquan River, Lake Shenandoah and the Toms River are all stocked with trout.
Patch was on hand Thursday for the stocking of the Metedeconk River at Pine Park off County Line Road in Lakewood, where a state crew consisting of three men, a large truck manned with fish tanks and oxygen equipment pulled up around noon.
The process is simple: fish are scooped out of the truck into nets, and deposited into the Metedeconk.
"Some will go upstream, some will go downstream," said Brian Kubin, one of the crew members.
The Metedeconk River ultimately runs to Barnegat Bay in Brick. One of the final hot spots for freshwater fishing is Forge Pond in Brick.
As for Pine Park, desolate on Thursday: "Come Saturday, this area will be lined with guys trying to catch them," Kubin said.