They arrived with rods, reels, buckets, worms, and waders anticipating a day of fish and fun, and Lake Wapalanne did not disappoint. Within seconds of the start whistle and 38 anglers dropping their lines in the water, the first fish in the Friends of NJSOC’s first ever Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs program was reeled in. Over the next two hours, the group caught more than 100 fish ranging in size from 2 inches to nearly 18 inches.
Laughter, clapping and joyous cheers were the order of the day, as children and parents enjoyed their success. All the fish, mostly sunnies and bass, were released.
The event concluded with goody bags given to all the participants and the special prize of a fishing rod given to the child who caught the biggest fish, the first fish, the smallest fish, and the most fish.
Many thanks to our volunteers Paul Kirk, Mike Roche, Pete Martyniuk, MJ Davis, and Marsha Benovengo, and to the staff of NJDEP’s Division of Fish & Wildlife for providing prizes and assistance. The Friends also had the pleasure of welcoming Assemblyman John McKeon L-27 to NJSOC. He greeted the happy anglers, talked to volunteers, and toured NJSOC. We are so grateful for his support and interest in our programs and mission to restore the NJSOC.