Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association June 2020 Newsletter)
COVID-19 Angling Ethics

As COVID-19 restrictions ease and we start to make our way back to our favorite fishing areas, let us remember to respect our environment. Over the past several months you might notice several new items of debris in your neighborhood and public spaces. Rubber gloves, wipes, paper masks, and their packaging tossed along walking paths in parks and at beaches. Proper disposal of garbage is everyone’s responsibility.

This fishing season we will be reintroduced to a new set of rules for fishing and boating. Let us try to make this work and respect not only our environment but our fellow anglers and tackle dealers. We can start with the following COVID-19 angling ethics: Keep a safe distance apart, wear face and eye protection around others, cough and sneeze in your elbow, if you are sick stay home, don’t handle other anglers’ property unless you are wearing gloves, do not litter, use restrooms, wash hands or use hand sanitizer, and make sure younger family members are protected and safe. See the Sportfish Conservancy Code of Ethics.

The Take Me Fishing website has an interactive state map for fishing and boating activities during COVID-19, so please view updates before you start your fishing or boating trip.

HOFNOD Logo Design Contest

Get all the details to enter the NJ Hooked on Fishing not on Drugs new logo design contest. The contest is open to New Jersey students aged 21 and under (*must be under 21 by the end of calendar year 2020 to be eligible).

If you have an idea for a new HOFNOD logo design, please download a copy of the rules.

Events Cancelled/Postponed

Due to COVID-19, the 4th Annual Play HOOK-e from PTSD Take a Veteran Fishing Day is postponed until August. Our hosts, Vito Cardinale, Cardinale Enterprises Inc., and Randy Johnson, Laurita Winery, decided to change the fishing theme and provide a weekend Fishing Rodeo at Lake Julianna, Ponderosa Estates Farm, Millstone, NJ. The weekend will include a fishing fun day for special needs children and a veteran/active-duty military family fishing day. Saturday, August 29th youngsters can attend the “Kid’s Wish’n to go Fishing” fun day and Sunday, August 30th, Veterans and active-duty military and their family will enjoy a relaxing day fishing. Registration information will be updated on the Play HOOK-e Eventbrite website and Vietnam Veterans of America Play HOOK-e page.

4th Annual Conservation Celebration: Sedge Islands, June 13th is postponed.

Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club has cancelled their youth and veteran fishing programs until further notice.

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Jersey Shore Chapter has moved scheduled fly-tying programs to virtual meetings. Please visit their FB page for updates.

Hudson River Fisherman’s Association check their new website for updates to their calendar of events.

The 28th Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is postponed until Sunday, October 25th.

Saturday, June 6, 2020, The Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Program's Youth Fishing Challenge statewide event is cancelled until the state's second Free Fishing Day, Saturday, October 17th, when no license is required to fish regardless of age. Please check the NJ HOFNOD webpage for facilitator workshops. If you are interested in attending a NJ HOFNOD workshop, please phone or email Liz Jackson, NJ HOFNOD Coordinator Phone: 908-637-4125 x122, email: liz.jackson@dep.state.nj.us.

Play HOOK-E PTSD Veterans

Veteran groups and organizations are adapting to the mandated “Social Distancing” (SD) rules from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For all of us to be safe we must comply with restrictions in our daily life at this time. I cannot stress how important it is to “Follow the Rules.”

As a PTSD veteran, I know, for my own mental health, I need to get outside in open green spaces to breathe some fresh air. If not, I am like a cat in the house going from window to window. Eco-therapy is one of my coping tools to limit PTSD symptoms. As we all face the disruption and uncertainty related to Coronavirus, please remember to reach out and phone a veteran relative or friend to check that they are okay. All disabled veteran Play HOOK-e from PTSD boat trips, fishing programs and events are cancelled until further notice. Visit their web page for updated information. Visit this link to learn more about managing PTSD during these stressful times.

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