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May 2, 2002


For more information contact:
Al Ivany at 609-984-1795

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP's) Division of Fish and Wildlife in cooperation with local sportsmen's clubs, other state and federal agencies, and Wal-Mart, will host several events to encourage youngsters and their parents to try their luck at fishing this June 1, 2 and 8. This first weekend in June, also known as Free Fishing Days, is a time when anyone may fish the Garden State's public waters without a license or trout stamp.

"Free Fishing Days are a great time to learn how to fish and youngsters aged 10 and older are invited to participate in several events held throughout the State," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "Parents should note that children aged 15 and younger never need a license, but on these two days, they too can accompany their kids and try out a day of fishing without purchasing a license. Just remember that all other regulations, including size and daily limits, remain in effect."

The following free events will be held at locations throughout the State, in public waters that will be specially stocked for the occasion. Youngsters can expect to learn about fishing equipment and basic casting/fishing techniques with about an hour devoted to actually trying their luck.

"These events are not competitions and there will be no prizes for the largest fish caught," McDowell said. "However, everyone who participates will be a winner if they learn something about fishing and get hooked on the sport."

Event dates, locations, times and sponsoring organizations follow:

June 1

Mountain Lake, Belvidere, 1 p.m. Sponsored by Muskies Inc. and Lisbon Capri
Echo Lake, Mountainside, 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by Newark Bait & Fly Casting Club
Tip Seaman Park Pond, Tuckerton, 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by the DEP's Division of Fish and Wildlife
Supawna National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Pennsville, 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Wildlife Conservation Corps (WCC)
Laurel Acres Lake, Mount Laurel, 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Pennsauken Surf Club

June 2

Hooks Creek Pond, Matawan, 1 p.m. Sponsored by the DEP's Division of Parks and Forestry
Milton Lake, Rahway, 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by the Cranford Rod and Gun Club

June 8

Wallkill NWR Pond, Sussex, 9:30 a.m. Sponsored by the USFWS and the WCC

To register for one of the above events call 908-637-4125 no earlier than May 4. Up to 25 children may attend each session. Group registrations will not be taken.

For more information on Free Fishing Days, visit the following websites:, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, National Fishing and Boating Week and Kids All-American Fishing Derby.