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October 6, 1999

For more information contact:
David Chanda at 609-984-6295

More than 1,200 participants took part in the Governor's 8th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, October 3 at Island Beach State Park in Ocean County. Sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures allowed participants to take advantage of a beautiful autumn day outdoors with family and friends.

"I would like to thank the many sponsors, prize donators and participants who have helped make the surf tournament a success for the past eight years," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "Their cumulative efforts have helped raise more than $50,000 for a variety of conservation projects such as the construction of a beach access ramp, two mobile fishing education carts and specialized wheelchairs for the disabled and elderly."

The event was sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Forestry, the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

Approximately 750 participants pre-registered through the mail and almost 425 registered on the morning of the tournament. Many of the entrants invited guests to observe the fun, bringing the total number of spectators and participants to about 1,300.

Albacore, striped bass, blackfish, bluefish, red drum, fluke, kingfish and weakfish were eligible for entry in the tournament. Of these, bluefish, blackfish, red drum, fluke, kingfish and weakfish were the species submitted.

Overall length determined the grand prize winner as well as place winners for each of the species categories. There were children, teen and adult angler categories for many of the species submitted, including sub-categories for male and female anglers. In addition, there were categories for fly fishing and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman students (female and male novice anglers who attended the surf fishing and fly fishing workshops held Saturday, Oct. 2). The inclusion of first, second and third place winners was dependent upon the number of entries submitted in each species category.

Grand prize went to Dorothy Harrison of Wayne, New Jersey for a 29" red drum. Ms. Harrison received the Governor's Trophy along with a certificate donated by the G. Loomis Fly Fishing School, good for the rod of her choice, a Penn reel and other assorted prizes. Additionally, her name will be engraved on the Governor's Cup, which will be permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park. She is the second female participant to ever win the tournament.

More than 50 rod and reel fishing outfits donated by Penn, Orvis, Loomis and Fin-nor International were given out to the other winners. Along with the tournament prizes offered, the registration forms of pre-registrants and same-day entrants were placed into special drawings for additional prizes.