The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced the winners of the 2011 Skillful Angler Awards Program. The program honors anglers who catch both freshwater and marine fish that are not quite record size, but are large enough to have tested the angler’s skill and be worthy of recognition.
The Skillful Angler program highlights the great fishing opportunities found in New Jersey, and anglers of all ages and skill levels participate. The program began in 1983 with 31 applicants, and this year 188 applications representing 24 different species were officially processed. Since the program’s modest beginning, the Division has granted skillful angler status to 3,256 anglers.
Fishing in New Jersey has never been better, and the growth and expansion of the Skillful Angler program over the years is an indication that anglers recognize this. Anglers like William Pilone who pulled a 54 lbs, 0 oz. Striped Bass from Delaware Bay; 10-year-old Thomas Dormida who reeled in a 5 lbs, 4 oz Brown Trout from the Musconetcong River; Steven Lytwyn who caught a 25 inch long Largemouth Bass fishing from the shore of Echo Lake in Mountainside; Mary Ellen Scott who landed a 6 lbs, 0 oz. Chain Pickerel through the ice on Little Swartswood Lake and 9-year-old Danny Burns who landed an 18 lbs, 8 oz. Bluefish from the ocean off Bay Head all know the Garden State provides excitement when it comes to fishing!
Congratulations to these and all of our Skillful Angler winners!
For more information about the winners of each category and their catch, visit http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/skwinn11.htm. To learn more about the Skillful Angler program itself, including minimum size requirements for entry, visit http://www.njfishandwildlife.com/skflang.htm.