by Dr. Patrick Donnelly

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association November1997Newsletter)

On Sept. 23, 1997 Tom Fote and I attended a joint meeting of the Saltwater Anglers of Bergen County along with the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association. This meeting was meant to be entirely educational, for both the host groups and ourselves. Since becoming a Vice President, I have been dismayed by the lack of participation in the general meetings. However, last year I made trips to each of the above clubs, and realized that it is truly a hardship for some of our members to attend a lengthy meeting in Bricktown. With that in mind, I approached Tom Fote with the idea of sponsoring regional meetings so that we can get our message out to those people who cannot get to our regular meeting and hear what these people have to say.

Fisheries managers have long tried to pigeonhole anglers by region. This meeting made that theory seem misdirected. As the discussion turned to striped bass, there were ideas and opinions that could not have been more diametrically opposed. Some felt that the larger size limits should be maintained, while others felt that the JCAA Position Statement reflected their wishes. This is the type of dialogue that we need to properly formulate a position.

There is always an ulterior motive to doing something like this. We need people to get more involved at a committee level. This would allow you to become a part of the process, but not necessarily have to come to each monthly meeting. Both Tom and I look forward to doing this in the future, with clubs in other parts of the state, but if you are interested in something, call the committee chair and get involved. We need you're input to effectively represent you.

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