Fish of Round Valley

19 species of fish inhabit Round Valley Reservoir and is a designated Trophy Trout Lake which currently holds the following NJ state fishing records:

  • Lake Trout 32lbs. 8oz.
  • Brown Trout 21lbs. 6oz.
  • Smallmouth Bass 7lbs. 2oz.
  • American Eel 6lbs. 13oz.

Check out all NJ fishing records on the NJ DEP site.

American Eel

American Eel
American Eel” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Bluegill

Bluegill
Bluegill” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Bluegill are in the Sunfish Family – Centrarchidae
  • You can see their circular spawning beds in the sandy shallow areas around Round Valley.
  • Put a worm on hook a foot under a bobber and your kids will have blast catching these all day long.
  • These are the better tasting fish in the sunfish family, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Brown Trout

Brown Trout
Brown Trout” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Brown Bullhead Catfish

Brown Bullhead Catfish
Brown Bullhead Catfish” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Bottom feeder.
  • Not commonly eaten.
  • Notice the slightly rounded tail, compared to the forked tail of the Channel Catfish.

Chain Pickerel

Chain Pickerel
Chain Pickerel” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Caught in the shallows and weeds alongside Bass.
  • Razor sharp teeth.
  • Lots of tiny bones in the flesh.  Not the easiest fish to eat.
  • Caught on either side of the lake.
  • Often caught while Ice Fishing on the swimming side of the lake.

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish
Channel Catfish” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Common Carp

Common Carp
Common Carp” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Not as abundant, but 25 pounders (caught in a gill net by the NJDEP) like the one above are here.
  • I’ve never caught one of these in The Valley, but I’m guessing Velveeta or dead Herring fished on the bottom will work.

Lake Trout

Lake Trout
Lake Trout” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Prefer deep-water in spring and summer, and move to shallow water in fall and winter, cruising the bottom of the lake in search for food.
  • Prefer cold (48-52 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • There is a breeding population in the lake!
  • Have a high mortality rate when handled.
  • Notice the Forked Tail.  Even if you know nothing about coloration the forked tail is a dead giveaway that the fish you are holding is a Lake Trout.  Brown and Rainbow Trout have flat tails.
  • 32lbs. 8ozs. NJ State Record 2002. – caught in relatively shallow water by the ranger cove boat ramp!
  • 32lbs. 11oz. female Lake Trout caught and released in November 2009 by Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologists during their annual gill-netting surveys.

Largemouth Bass

Largemouth Bass
Largemouth Bass” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Caught on both sides of the lake (swimming and fishing).
  • Prefer weeds and shore areas.
  • Will most actively feed early and late in the day, during reduced light conditions.
  • If the upper jaw plate extends past the eye, you have a lg mouth.
  • Outnumber Smallmouth roughly 2 to 1.

Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout
Rainbow Trout” by Wilfrid Swancourt Bronson Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Rainbow Trout do not have spots on their tail – Brown Trout do have spots on their tail.
  • Rainbows prefer water from 55 to 60 Fahrenheit though will do fine in water less than 70 F.
  • Have a high mortality rate when handled.
  • Rainbows are flashy fighters when hooked, jumping out of the water more than other trout.
  • Golden Trout, also stocked by RVTA, are a subspecies of Rainbow Trout

Rock Bass

Rock Bass
Rock Bass” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Rock Bass are feisty little fish, often caught alongside bluegill and other sunfish.
  • They are in the Sunfish Family – Centrarchidae
  • Their mouths are larger than bluegill, which allows them to prey upon fish and larger insects, and my small Kastmaster

Smallmouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass
Smallmouth bass” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Sunfish

  • 27 species of fish comprise this Family.
  • most common besides bass are Bluegill, Red Breast Sunfish, and Rock Bass in that order.
  • Also available but not as abundant are pumpkinseeds, black crappie, yellow perch and white perch.

Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch
Yellow Perch” by Ellen Edmondson and Hugh H. Chrisp Licensed under Public domain via New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Not too common in Round Valley, but they are sometimes caught while jigging for Lake Trout.
  • Sporty, often putting up a great fight for the smaller size.
  • Taste Great! or so I’ve been told.
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