Cheesequake State Park at 300 Gordon Road in Matawan, N.J. is the location of the next Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs training seminar announced today by the Future Fisherman Foundation (F3) and the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife.

The workshop dates are Saturday, Feb. 23 and Sunday, Feb. 24. The park is conveniently located off the Garden State Parkway about 35 minutes from Newark Airport. Restaurants and lodging are available in surrounding towns.

“We are very excited to partner with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish & Wildlife and assist them in kicking off their new Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs (HOFNOD) initiative in the state,” said F3 Executive Director Mark Gintert. “The New Jersey legislature has appropriated funding to bring HOFNOD back to life in this state, and we are thrilled to be working with Fish & Wildlife personnel to offer this training. Our Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs program is terrific for community-based youth organizations that are looking to add outdoor recreational opportunities like fishing to their programs.”

Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs is a legendary program that has been offered to thousands of children over the last 20-plus years in almost every state. Program participants are immersed in a variety of topics that include basic angling skills, freshwater and marine aquatic education, natural resource conservation and developing positive life skills. HOFNOD is designed to help youth learn about and appreciate themselves and the great outdoors while providing them with skills to better cope with life challenges and the tough choices that affect their lives.

This training opportunity is ideal for formal and non-formal educators and youth group leaders interested in using the sport of fishing to re-engage youth with the outdoors and to help them develop skills that lead to healthy lifestyle choices. The $20 registration fee will cover all text materials and lunch on Saturday. Applicants will begin their training at 8:00 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 23 by signing in at the Cheesequake training facility.

Pre-registration is required as class size is limited. Applicants must register on-line at www.futurefisherman.org/training-registration/.

For more information about F3 and its program, visit www.futurefisherman.org. For more information about the Cheesequake State Park facility, visit www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/cheesequake.html.

Logo courtesy Future Fisherman Association

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