Fishing Derby is the Catch of the Day – Union News Daily

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MOUNTAIN SIDE, NJ – Linsey Armus, 30, of Rahway, was thrilled when she caught her first fish of the day at Lower Echo Lake Park in Mountainside on Saturday, September 8.

The Union County Board of Commissioners, in partnership with the Newark Bait Fly Casting Club, invited Union County residents to participate in the Fall Fishing Derby for People with Disabilities and Special Needs. Before the derby began, about 300 trout from the Musky Hatchery were tagged and released into Lower Echo Lake.

“This event is the perfect way to spend more time outdoors and enjoy the end of summer,” said Chief Commissioner Sergio Granados. “Hosting a fishing derby for residents with special needs and disabilities, along with their families, is an initiative that reflects our commitment to providing quality programming and creating a truly inclusive community and county for all segments of our residents. It’s always a great time.”

“We help people with disabilities and special needs,” NBFCC member Don Marantz said. “Our club has been doing this for over 30 years.”

The NBFCC was established in 1907. It is a 501(c)(3) organization and a group where hunters and fishermen can come together to not only share their love of fishing, but also to unite under the umbrella of a common interest to help veterans, children and individuals with disabilities. As well as promoting environmental conservation, through its many activities throughout the year.

Besides the Fall Fishing Derby, other NBFCC events include Hooked on Drugs, Not on Drugs; Fishing outing for disabled veterans; and the annual Tricky Tray, which will be Friday, Oct. 20, at VFW Kenilworth Post 2230, 33 South 21st St., Kenilworth.

In addition to supporting many individuals in the state and local communities, they also support Heroes on the Water; Jersey Coast Anglers Association; New Jersey State Athletic Association; and the New Jersey Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Bethany Gallagher from the Office of People with Disabilities and Special Needs said she was excited to be at a “nice awareness event.” OPDSN offers year-round disability recreation programs for children ages 5 through adults, through county facilities. Their goal is to help people with disabilities achieve independent living and full integration into all aspects of rural life.

Robbie Rosenbaum, 8, of West Orange, was there with his grandmother, Fran Rosenbaum, also of West Orange. “It’s amazing what Union County does to support our special needs community. He’s having a blast. He was so excited. It’s his first time fishing,” she said.

Jordan McQuaid, 22, was there with her father, Mike McQuaid, who said the event “gives her a chance to do outside things.”

James Melito, of Clark, was there with his sister, Susan Muniz, of Rahway. “It’s a beautiful day for everyone,” Muniz said. He laughs and talks.”

To learn more about special needs programs hosted by Union County, visit or call 908-527-4807.

To learn more about the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club, visit

Photos by Marian Cristiano Mistretta

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