Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association June 2002 Newsletter)


Dr. Eleanor Bochenek of the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory developed a publication entitled “Young Peoples Guide To Saltwater/Freshwater Fishing” for middle school children that emphasized the skills and background information needed to become a successful angler and steward of the marine and freshwater environment (Bochenek 1997).  The publication covered the following key topics: wetland ecology, non-point and point source pollution, watershed management, estuarine and marine ecology, marine debris, and threatened, endangered and exotic species.  A second component of this publication emphasized marine recreational fishing and included fish biology; fish habitat; various types of rods/reels, casting methods, knot tying, bait and lures, angler ethics; and catching, releasing and handling of fish (including tag and release).  The publication has been successfully used by the Jersey Coast Anglers Association Youth Education Committee, fishing clubs, schools and other organizations in New Jersey and other states and is no longer in print.

            There is currently no youth resource guide dedicated to the Barnegat Bay watershed that combines marine recreational fishing, clamming, crabbing, safe boating and environmental stewardship.  A proposal has been submitted to the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program Public Participation and Education Mini-grant Program to produce the booklet (Young People’s Guide To Fishing, Crabbing And Clamming In Barnegat Bay). 

            Project Description:  Under the auspices of the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University, and the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey Foundation, the booklet, “Young People’s Guide To Fishing, Crabbing And Clamming In Barnegat Bay”  (developed with funds from the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program) will be field tested at two different forums, such as a youth fishing program and a public middle school program in Ocean County.  Each program will be one full day.  This resource booklet will then be modified based upon program evaluations.  A minimum of 500 copies of the guide will then be printed.  Such venues for dissemination may include state, county, and municipal parks and nature centers, fishing clubs and various youth organizations such as boy scouts and public schools, primarily in the Barnegat Bay Watershed.  

Some key areas that will be covered that will emphasize Barnegat Bay are:  wetlands ecology, non-point and point source pollution, watershed management, estuarine and marine ecology, marine debris, safe boating practices, and endangered and exotic species.  A second component of the guide will emphasize saltwater fishing, clamming and boating.  Topics that will be covered in this section include:  fish, clam and crab biology (including some common species found in Barnegat Bay such as summer flounder, striped bass, blue claw crab, and hard clam), fish habitat; various types of rods/reels, casting methods, tying knots, baits and lures, crabbing and clamming techniques, angler ethics, and catching, releasing and handling of fish (including tag and release), crabs and clams

Dr. Eleanor Bochenek will manage and participate in this project on behalf of the Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory, Rutgers University.  Dr. Bochenek is a marine scientist that has worked extensively on fishery, water quality and natural resource management issues in the Mid-Atlantic region and especially in Ocean County.  She has designed and conducted educational workshops and programs dealing with marine recreational and commercial fishing, youth fishing, exotic species, marine recreation, marine pollution and marine resource management.  

Janet Larson, Natural Resource Program Associate, Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County, will assist with all aspects of the project.  She has extensive experience working on natural resource issues and developing policies for management within the Barnegat Bay watershed.

The Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Executive Director, Melissa Danko, will assist with the safe boating sections and the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, Youth Education Committee Chair, Greg Kucharewski, will assist with the fishing, crabbing and clamming sections.

In conclusion, this guide will be used by schools, fishing clubs, nature centers and other youth organizations throughout the Barnegat Bay Watershed and New Jersey to better educate middle school age children (can also be used by adults) about proper and ethical recreational fishing, clamming and crabbing as well as safe boating in Barnegat Bay.  This resource guide will promote positive actions and behaviors that will safeguard the living resources of Barnegat Bay and make our youth better stewards of our environment. 



National Fishing and Boating Week Offers Opportunities for Families to Re-Connect  Thousands of Hands-On Events Planned Across the Nation.  The second annual National Fishing and Boating Week will take place from June 1 - 9, with thousands of local events in communities across the country.  Events will provide hands-on opportunities for families and friends to share fun, quality time together while learning about two of our nation's favorite pastimes - recreational boating and fishing.

"Today's families are busier than ever ," said Bruce Matthews, President and CEO of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF). "We hope people will turn away from their computers, turn off their televisions and rediscover each other through boating and fishing together.  It's hard not to relax when you are on the water."

Fishing and boating provide a positive experience that the entire family can enjoy together.  Numerous studies have shown that being with family and friends, relaxing, and being outdoors and close to nature are the primary reasons people boat and fish.  Many Americans believe that outdoor recreation strengthens the family as a unit and the children as individuals.  Studies also show that people who participate frequently in outdoor recreation are more satisfied with life overall.  There is no better time to learn more about recreational fishing and boating and experience these benefits first hand than during National Fishing and Boating Week.  Events are planned for families, children and seniors, and include fishing and boating festivals, educational events, boating demonstrations and many other hands-on activities for participants of all ages.  From knot tying and boating safety, to casting and properly releasing your catch, National Fishing and Boating Week Events will provide a fun, exciting, and enriching experience for the entire family.  For a listing of events taking place during National Fishing and Boating Week and throughout the year, visit WaterWorksWonders.org.  Visitors will find a complete listing of events near their homes or vacation destination.  They can also find dates of state sponsored free fishing days (no fishing license required) offered throughout the country.  Most states sponsor free fishing days during National Fishing and Boating Week.  In addition to being a great way to reconnect, many Americans see participation in outdoor recreation as one of the main reasons to protect the environment.  Nearly nine in ten Americans say outdoor recreation benefits the environment because it gives people a reason to care about natural resources.  National Fishing and Boating Week is a key component of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's national awareness campaign, Water Works Wonders(tm).   The initiative was recently nominated for a 2002 Fatherhood Award by the National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), the premier fatherhood renewal organization in the country.  The Fatherhood Awards are presented annually to men, women, and organizations who make a substantial contribution to strengthening involved, committed, and responsible fatherhood.  "Fishing and boating are favorite American traditions that promote family values and cohesiveness, as well as provide wholesome recreational outdoor activities," said Matthews.  "As a component of the Water Works Wonders(tm) campaign, National Fishing and Boating Week is designed to encourage angler and boater participation by providing an opportunity to try, to learn, and to discover for themselves that boating and fishing are unmatched leisure activities for true connection with family, friends and the natural environment." For additional information, visit WaterWorksWonders.org, or call Kirk Gillis, RBFF Communications Manager, at 703-519-0013, ext. 109.




Members of the JCAA Youth Education Committee and NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife will present a fishing fun day for the children attending the Fort Monmouth Fishing Fun Day on Wednesday, June 12, 2002.  Activities for the day will include: “Water Works Wonders” Fish Identification Flash Cards, Water Safety, HOFNOD and a variety of tackle demonstrations.  Children will learn about National Fishing and Boating Week and how to take advantage of the many fishing and boating opportunities in Monmouth and Ocean County. 


On Friday, May 17, 2002 the JCAA Youth Education Committee will host a casting for kids HOFNOD demonstration at Lanes Mill School, Brick, NJ in support of their Reading Rally. 


The Future Fisherman Foundation’s “Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs” Certified Instructor Training Program will be presented to NJ Park Rangers at Allaire State Park.  For more information please contact Wayne Tonnensen, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, lead contact person for the FFF HOFNOD program in New Jersey 609-259-2120 or NJHOF-NOD@JUNO.COM


On Monday, June 24, 2002 the JCAA Youth Education Committee will present a crabbing seminar at the Ocean County Library Summer Reading program.  This year the theme is "Whales, Sails, and Summer Tales.”  The library tries to schedule programs and activities that complement the theme.



The JCAA Youth Education Committee ordered fish printing materials from the Future Fisherman Foundation to kickoff  National Fishing and Boating Week.  The rubber fish molds will be used to demonstrate (G yotaku) Japanese fish printing.  Fish printing is a fun activity for children and adults that can also be used to identify fish and sea creature anatomy.  The fish printing materials will be available to borrow from the JCAA lending library.  Please send all requests for equipment/materials forms to: e-mail address: Gkucharews@aol.com




Twenty-two children attended the Newark Bait and Fly Casters Youth Fishing Workshop and FFF “Hooked On Fishing Not On Drugs” night.  The JCAA Youth Education Committee provided a fish coloring activity, HOFNOD materials and crabbing seminar that was hosted at the Newark Bait and Fly Casters May meeting.  The membership of the NB&FC’s did a great job of providing several learning stations that consisted of basic casting techniques, saltwater fishing equipment, freshwater trout tricks, and terminal tackle goodie bags.  Prizes were also awarded for completing each learning station.  


For information on aquatic youth education material write to: J.C.A.A. Youth Education Committee, Attention Greg Kucharewski 1201 Rt. 37 East, Suite 9, Toms River, NJ 08753 or phone 732-