By Frank Richetti

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association October1997Newsletter)

For all intent and purpose summer is over, vacation time is about all used up and the kids are back in school . While most folks were relaxing and enjoying the summer slow down, many of our committee members were hard at work. The striped bass committee was especially busy preparing for the next phase of striped bass regulations. They read and interpreted the draft proposals issued by the ASMFC, networked with folks up and down the coast and hosted two important meetings. The first was with JCAA members, using the democratic process to decide on best options and strategies. But the second meeting really showed what Jersey Coast Anglers is all about. Our committee along with the American Sportfishing Association and Coastal Conservation Associations sponsored an interstate meeting that brought together 18 organizations from up and down the cost. They succeeded in developing a proposal that nearly all who attended could support, that was good for the recreational community, would not harm the resource and would fit into ASMFC's objectives. All but one group agreed to actively support the proposed option at public hearings within their respective states. This type of regionally united front is our best hope to influence the management process and finally receive fair treatment in the allocation assignment. Regardless of the final outcome, I am very proud of this committee and the process they used to help unite fishermen throughout the region. My hat is off to you.

Our fluke tournament committee has also been hard at work this summer. First, they recruited a new tournament director, Mark Marquez, and still managed to keep our 1997 director, Vince Sparano, on to lend a hand. Mark and the committee are working on some new possibilities for next years tournament that could make it the most exciting and successful yet. It’s a little too early to tip their hand but suffice it to say things are getting off to a good start for next year.

Our web page has come a long way this summer, thanks in large part to Dave Francischina (a.k.a. Webmaster). Dave helped organize our page layout but is especially active in making sure it is always current by posting special announcements as well as our newspaper each month. His summer project was to post all our newspaper issues from the last 3 years. Our website is becoming an important source for interested parties to research fishery issues both current and historical. It is easier to find particular reports on the web because electronic search routines will point to the way. It’s great! Check it out!

A big part of our job at Jersey Coast Anglers is to inform all our members and interested anglers of what is going on in fisheries management and how it will effect them. Our main communication tool is the monthly newspaper. In our ongoing efforts to provide a quality publication, we have invested in top notch computer equipment that allows us to scan, store, manipulate, print and transmit data and images. Now I have to admit that for a rag-tag bunch of fishermen, we don’t do half bad. But! We could use someone with a little more skill and imagination. We are looking for someone who is interested in desktop publishing to help with the layout of our monthly newspaper.

This is a great opportunity for someone who has an interest to work with some really decent equipment and software. We are willing to invest in any software program that you feel comfortable with and we will bestow any title that you find suitable. Anyone interested should contact me or any of the officers for more information.

As I have said in the past, our committees are what make JCAA work and it is individuals that make our committees work. We are all working together to maintain healthy and productive fisheries that we can enjoy now and that our children can enjoy later. We can always use a few more folks who are willing to champion a particular fishery. That usually means reading the current or proposed management plan, attending an occasional meeting and informing your fellow anglers on the current status. Yes, it takes some time. Yes, it takes some effort. But you can be part of the process and help to establish fair regulations. Standing around the local tackle shop complaining about the sorry state of affairs just doesn’t cut it! Complaining to each other won't get the job done! Getting involved in the process is the only way. We have a few guys who are very knowledgeable about how the management process works and can guide you through it. We always have room on any committee for one more.

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