(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association - April 1996 Newspaper)
My first involvement with the newly formed Jersey Coast Anglers Association was a meeting I attended at Spring Lake Municipal Building I believe in 1981. It was a gathering of several Monmouth and Ocean County fishing clubs collectively voicing their objection to the installation of a fence around the Deal Lake Flume. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association formed to remedy one issue and fortunately stayed intact after accomplishing its initial goal.
Many years have passed and the association has become a prominent influence among the marine recreational angler and the management process that is regulating or about to regulate most of the fish we strive to catch. The association struggled and plodded along in the early years as certain individuals tried to represent the views of the group. This was a near impossible task as it is not possible to do all that is required, earn a living and raise a family.
In 1989 the association was very fortunate to have an individual step forward who could dedicate the hours necessary to take the association forward into a formidable and viable organization. The concerns and objectives discussed at meetings now moved beyond the discussion stage into accomplishments and completed objectives. The association had someone who could lead the battle and stay till the end. The membership grew as other clubs saw positive results to make them want to join. The Jersey Coast Anglers Association was now state wide no longer a gathering of Monmouth and Ocean County Fishing Clubs.
Recently a change has occurred for the better. The businesses and industry that make their living providing us with boats, motors, fishing tackle and other essentials have realized that we were not able to win all the battles over the allocation of the marine resource. They want to help as our success or failure is also their success or failure. These businesses have formed their own group known as the Alliance to Save Fisheries. Their goals and objectives mirror ours. The Alliance came to the J.C.A.A. monthly meeting gave a presentation and the J.C.A.A. unanimously agreed to work together.
It now appears that not everyone is on the same sheet of music. It is my understanding that the Alliance will work with us. I do not interpret that to mean they are to work for us. The industry wants to help us achieve our goals; this should not be interpreted to mean we will instruct them how to spend their money or how to achieve our goals. This industry can and will help the marine recreational angler. As one of a few left from when we met at Spring Lake Municipal Building, I want the J.C.A.A. to be a cooperative and valuable member in the efforts of the Alliance that is trying to save our fisheries. Egos have no place here!
Gary Dickerson is a member of Manasquan Fishing Club, Chairman of the JCAA Fluke Committee,and a past president of JCAA.