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October 5, 2006


Contact: Elaine Makatura (609) 292-2994
Darlene Yuhas (609) 984-1795



(06/55) TRENTON - An angler from South Amboy hooked a 33 ¾-inch striped bass and reeled in the prestigious Governor’s Cup at the 15th annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament at Island Beach State Park in Berkeley Township.

By catching the biggest fish of the day, David Salvagno, bested 925 anglers who competed Sunday in the annual event, which raises funds for marine-resource conservation and education in and around Island Beach State Park and encourages youngsters and adults to learn more about surf fishing. More than two dozen other anglers also won prizes in various species categories. All 115 entries were judged for overall length of the fish.

Presiding over the tournament, Governor Jon S. Corzine and DEP Commissioner Lisa P. Jackson reminded participants that the Nov. 7 ballot offers all New Jersey voters an opportunity to demonstrate their concern for the quality of the state’s parks, wildlife areas and historic sites. Public Question 2 asks voters to consider a constitutional amendment that would provide a dedicated source of funding for long-overdue maintenance and capital improvements at these treasured sites - without requiring any new taxes.

As grand-prize winner, Salvagno will have his name engraved on the Governor’s Cup, permanently on display at Island Beach State Park, and received a plaque and two rod-and-reel combinations. In 2005, Jackson Township resident Carl Kogel earned top honors with a 34 ½-inch bluefish.

To date, the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament has raised more than $120,000. The funds have helped purchase specialized balloon-tire beach wheelchairs to provide beach access for the disabled and elderly, educational displays for the park’s Interpretive Center, an access ramp connecting parking area A7 to the beach, an automatic heart defibrillator unit, two mobile fishing equipment trailers for fishing-education programs statewide, educational materials and field-study equipment for various environmental education programs.

Following is a complete list of winners:

Blackfish Category
Adult (Male)
First Place - John Salato, Toms River; 22”
Second Place - Zoltan Egyed, Trenton; 20”

Fluke Category
Child (Male)
First Place - Jonathan Owens, Tinton Falls; 16 5/8”

Teen (Male)
First Place - Brian Coopersmith, Washington; 17 5/8”
Second Place - Alex Showell, Sweetwater; 16 ½”

Adult (Male)
First Place - Ron Shock Jr., Dumont; 17 5/8”
Second Place - Kevin Martin, Bayonne; 17 ½”

Kingfish Category
Child (Male)
First Place - Nicolas Spadaro, Rutherford; 14 7/8”
Second Place - Noah McDonald, Williamstown; 14 ¾”

Teen (Male)
First Place - George Leager, Philadelphia; 14 ¾”
Second Place - Dante Fusco, Mercerville; 13 ¼”

Adult (Male)
First Place - Paul Maden, Pitman; 15 ½”
Second Place - Eric Polovina, Pompton Plains; 15 1/8”

Bluefish Category
Child (Female)
First Place - Samantha Silva, Edison; 19 ½”
Second Place - Rachael Vincent, Jackson; 15 7/8”

Child (Male)
First Place - Noah Marcus, Berkeley Heights; 18”
Second Place - Nick Miraglia, Somerset; 17 ½”

Teen (Female)
First Place - Rachael Wohl, Voorhees; 19 ¾”
Second Place - Danielle McGoldrick, Pocono Lake, Pa.; 17”

Teen (Male)
First Place - Paul Dippold, Toms River; 18”
Second Place - Troy Beyrouty, Dayton; 15 ½”

Adult (Female)
First Place - Beverly Dwyer, Whiting; 21 ¼”
Second Place - Michelle Pullen, Bordentown; 18 1/8”

Adult (Male)
First Place - Brian Koenig, Mount Laurel; 21 ½”
Second Place - Gregory Rasar, Burlington; 21”

Striped Bass Category
Adult (Female)
First Place - Debbie Burlingame, Neptune City; 28 ½”

Adult (Male)
First Place - David Salvagno, South Amboy; 33 ¾” 2006 Governor’s Cup Winner
Second Place - Mark Newhart, Brown Mills; 33 ¼”

The event was sponsored by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks & Forestry, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

For more information about the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament, visit



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Last Updated: October 10, 2006