Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association November 2019 Newsletter)
BHSFC Visit IBSP Nature Center

Brick High School Fishing Club (BHSFC) traveled to Island Beach State Park Nature Center on October 4th. Tim Brennan, Health & Physical Education Teacher and NJ HOFNOD certified instructor, introduced students to Kelly Scott, Park Naturalist. Kelly gave students a tour of the Nature Center, nature path, and bay/ocean shoreline.

Students learned about aquatic conservation and what they can do to protect waterways and wildlife. Several members of the class had a chance to go seining and collect different species of fish for classroom discussion.

During November, Brick Township High School Fishing Club is supporting our veteran Play HOOK-e from PTSD program. Students care about our veterans and plan to assist with our veteran fishing program. Members of the VVA Chapter 12 School Speakers program will visit their school on November 13, 2019 to teach students about the Vietnam War.

View BHSFC NJ HOFNOD Facebook page to see their progress.

NJ HOFNOD MI-JO Party Boat Trip

NJ HOFNOD youngsters and veterans will have an opportunity to fish Saturday, November 2, 2019 on the Mi-Jo party boat out of Atlantic Highlands. Veteran NJ HOFNOD instructors will assist youngsters fishing and discuss selective harvest conservation.

If you would like to volunteer time with a NJ HOFNOD program near you and become a certified NJ HOFNOD instructor, please contact Liz Jackson, NJ DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife, Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs, 605 Pequest Road, Oxford, NJ 07683 or call at 908-637-4125 x122.

Visit the NJ HOFNOD website to view their website and Leader groups.

2019 JCAA Youth Education Award

Liz Jackson, NJ DEP Fish and Wildlife, was selected by the JCAA Youth Education Committee to receive the 2019 Youth Education Award. We received the following nomination from Sue Rothermel, New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen Clubs.

“I am pleased to nominate Ms. Liz Jackson for your 2019 Youth Education Award. Liz is committed to promoting and creating the practices that contribute to a sustainable HOF-NOD program while making significant commitments to the Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs program along with its program participants.

Liz Jackson reformed the HOF-NOD program from a one-day, one-shot fishing derby model of the past by seeking partnerships with youth organizations and individuals willing to create or enhance ongoing activities that involve learning to fish, appreciating aquatic and environmental resources, and developing positive life skills. These entities were directed to prove sustained engagement in HOFNOD content by submission of a calendar or schedule that illustrated their program offering (where, when, what and how). She required teams to organize their program with roughly 22 to 24 contact sessions with participating youth, where each course was not less than 1.5 hours per session. Each group was encouraged to include multiple all-day field trips, webinars, and guest-speaker events.

She transformed each team on a case-by-case basis to allow the program to be readily integrated into their setting or situation. Program settings include curricular integration with middle schools and high schools, school-based extracurricular activity, content for afterschool programs, supplemental units for a summer day and sleep-over camps, community-based non-school activity in partnership with not-for-profits or NGOs, and county-based youth development club within the Rutgers’ Cooperative Extension 4H model.

Liz takes it upon herself to provide exceptional support and service to new instructor groups; She discerns quickly their individual needs and moves efficiently to provide essential information, recommendations, or direction. “Liz is a beautiful ambassador for our State…in assisting teams, instructors, and students as they navigate the HOF-NOD program.

Liz is always willing to pitch in for the good of the program. She has made a difference in our Statewide HOF-NOD program and has positively impacted the program participants of our state. Her skills, knowledge, willingness to help others, and dedication to Hooked On Fishing Not on Drugs make her the Excellence candidate for the 2019 JCAA Youth Education Award.”

Digital image courtesy of NJ Fish and Wild Life
Fishing Seminars for Veterans and their Families

During November and December Veteran Play HOOK-e fishing seminars will be held at VFW Post 2226, 212 Norwood Ave., Oakhurst, NJ.

The program is geared towards Veterans struggling with PTSD & TBI but all Veterans and their families are welcome to attend. The goal is to connect veterans and their families to VA Service Offices/Outreach Centers, NJ Coastal Parks, Fishing Clubs, Veteran Organizations, and help Veteran men and women take time to heal by utilizing eco-therapy to limit PTSD symptoms.

Attendees will learn how and where to catch that fish of a lifetime. Topics include: Tackle Tricks and Surf Casting Techniques - Know how to use bait rigs and artificial lures - Identify productive fishing areas along the beach - Understand NJ rules and marine regulations - Learn about fishing tips and other items you might need to have a safe fishing experience.

Refreshments, door prizes, and printed handouts are no cost to veterans and family members.

Greg K, Shore Surf Club President, Jersey Coast Anglers Association’s Youth Education Chair, and Member # 164 New Jersey Beach Buggy Association will be the speaker. To Register: Phone: 732-785-9278 or check out thier website for more veteran fishing opportunities.


The surf fishing cart at IBSP that is used to teach new anglers, students, and veterans the sport of surf casting and fishing was recently refurbished by George Brown, NJBBA, Tom Sheehan, George Murnyak, Lou Fusco, Dan Weidmuller and Tim Burden. A lot of work went into repurposing equipment and organizing the layout of the surf cart that holds seining, waders, surf bags, rod/reels, tables, terminal tackle and maintenance equipment. The cart is also used for NJ HOFNOD schools and community-based programs.

Due to the success of the surf instructional classes over the years, replenishment of equipment is needed for the 2020 fishing season. A list of terminal tackle and maintenance supplies for 2020 will be submitted to the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament Committee for consideration.

HRFA Youth Fishing

I receive the following from Dan Harrison, President HRFA: Since, July they supported a few organizations with youth fishing programs: Hoboken River Day on July 13, Spectrum for Living July 16, Kingston Special Needs Children on August 1 and they had such a good time they asked if we could help on their last day of school party on the river. August 16, Yonkers River Fest Sept 14. Members of HRFA do a great job of hosting youth fishing programs and supporting community events for children.

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