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Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association June 2017 Newsletter)
Keep Kids Fishing

This month we featured two photos of member clubs (HRFA and NJBBA) in JCAA that promote youth fishing.

HRFA
Hudson River Fishermen’s Association promoted fishing with the Boy Scouts at Hooked on the Hudson.
NJBBA
Every week, Paul Harris and John Walters of NJBBA work w/ the Toms River South H.S. fishing team in the classroom.
2017 NJ HOFNOD Youth Fishing Challenge

The Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs Program's Youth Fishing Challenge is a statewide event to promote fishing among youths and their families. The Youth Fishing Challenge will be held on the first of the state's two Free Fishing Days, Saturday, June 10, when no license is required to fish regardless of age.

Registered youth participants will be eligible to receive prizes for the fish they catch during the event. Youths must be present at the conclusion of the event to be awarded prizes. Those who are lucky enough to catch a trout tagged as part of the "Hook-A-Winner" Program will receive a special prize following the event.

If you are working with a NJ HOFNOD youth fishing group get ready for Saturday, June 10th NJ Youth Fishing Challenge. The object is to get youngsters fishing, so please consider how you might like to get kids hooked on fishing. If you would like to volunteer time with a NJ HOFNOD group to support the NJ Youth Fishing Challenge Day, Contact Liz Jackson for details: NJ DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife, Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs, 605 Pequest Road, Oxford, NJ 07683, 908-637-4125 x122, or website.

National Fishing & Boating Week
June 3 – 11, 2017

NF&BW Free Fishing Days in New Jersey are June and October, 2017. The first FREE day in NJ is on June 10, 2017. This day is part of the National Fishing and Boating Week which highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing to enhance peoples' quality of life and to preserve our country's natural beauty. The second Free Fishing Day will occur after fall trout stocking, October 21, 2017 and it brings attention to this great fishing opportunity.

During the two Free fishing days, residents and non-residents may fish New Jersey’s public fresh waters without a license or trout stamp. All other regulations, including size and daily catch limits, remain in effect.

Residents and non-residents may fish the public waters of New Jersey without a license or trout Stamp. All other regulations apply. For those anglers just starting out, the Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many programs and classes to advance from beginner to expert. The Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County offers free fishing programs. Pequest offers a Natural Resource Education Center with a variety of exhibits and displays on wildlife, a butterfly garden, picnic areas and hiking trails. There is also a handicapped-accessible fishing site along the Pequest River. Last year the JCAA Youth Education Committee coordinated fishing and aquatic education programs for the week-long celebration of National Fishing Week. Please contact the JCAA Youth Education Committee and let us know how many National Fishing Week participants supported your program and we will add it to our JCAA report.

Beach Access for Veterans

During January 2017, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law allowing free beach access for active-duty military and veterans.

Please be aware that all seashore communities do not offer free beach access for active-duty military and veterans. The law that Governor Christie signed allows military personnel, veterans, their spouses and dependent children over the age of 12 to use their military identification, form DD-214 or similar document, or a state driver's license or identification card indicating that the holder is a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces for beach access instead of having to pay for a beach badge.

Each seashore municipality has their own rule of how to allow access. The law allows towns discretion in whether or not to offer free access to veterans, to active duty military, or not at all. The law is at the discretion of individual municipalities, and applies to active members of the New Jersey National Guard who have completed initial active duty training as well as anyone 65 years of age or older or anyone who is disabled.

We suggest you research and contact towns where you would like to enjoy free time on the beach with your family before paying fees for parking. A few phone calls can save you time and money.

Veterans interested in learning about fishing and relaxing in the outdoors can attend free monthly Play HOOK-e from PTSD fishing workshops. For more information about the schedule, please contact Greg K. at 732-785-9278 or email gkucharews@jcaa.org.

Free Family Fishing Derby

Father Time Spring family fishing derby and beach event will be held Saturday, June 3, 2017 on the beach at the end of Main St., Keansburg, NJ. Registration starts at 9:30 am, fishing begins at 10:00 am until 12:30 pm. All student aged anglers are welcome to attend. Anglers over 16 are encouraged to register before fishing at saltwaterregistry.nj.gov.

This free derby has it all crafts, prizes trophies, sand castles, food, and family fun. Moms are also encouraged to attend. For more information please phone Jeff Johnson – 732-787-2007 X-6339 or Bob Stone at 732-546-7573.

HOFNOD Olympics

Mike and Debbie Bennett are environmental and boating safety educators for Boating Education and Rescue (BEAR.) Mike and Debbie are NJ State Certified Instructors, Certified Master Naturalist and NJ HOFNOD Certified Instructors and are a 501 (c) 3 organization. They will hold the HOFNOD Olympics at Ocean County Park on June 24 and 25th. For more information click the following link.

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