Each year, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division recognizes anglers for outstanding catches. Anglers who catch a fish that meets or beats a specific weight or length limit for that species are eligible for an Angler Award.
“Georgia’s diverse fishing experiences make for a great pool of anglers each year that receive recognition through the Angler Award program,” says the division’s Fisheries Management Chief John Biagi. “For example, last year we recognized folks age four to age 78 for their fishing catches. So, don’t wait, get outdoors and go fish!”
Fish must be caught in Georgia during the legal angling season for the species, caught on sporting tackle (bush hooks, trot lines, jugs, baskets, nets, etc. are not considered sporting tackle) and be hooked and landed by the entrant. Additionally, the fish must meet either minimum weight OR length requirements for that particular species, as noted on the minimum eligible weights chart available online at www.georgiawildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources.
In order for a harvested catch to be recognized, anglers should follow these steps:
- Do not clean or freeze the fish
- Keep the fish cool, preferably on ice.
- Weigh the fish as soon as possible on scales certified accurate to the nearest ounce by the Georgia Department of Agriculture in the presence of two witnesses who are over the age of 18 (witnesses must provide names/addresses and telephone numbers and may not be members of the anglers immediate family). Scales that meet these requirements typically are found at grocery stores, agency offices, some marinas, etc.
- Take the fish to a division Fisheries Management Office (locations list available at www.georgiawildlife.com/OfficeContact) as soon as possible and have it positively identified by a fisheries biologist or technician.
- Complete an application and submit with a clear side view photo of the whole fish. State record applications must be received within 90 days of the catch. Angler award applications must be received by Jan. 15, 2013 for fish caught in 2012.
In order for a catch and release fish to be recognized, anglers should follow these steps:
- Measure the fish to the nearest inch with a standard, English-unit ruler or measuring tape.
- Submit a clear photograph of the fish for proper identification and length verification (the photo should at least show the entire length of the fish and the ruler or tape used to measure the fish). In addition, a photo of the angler with the fish is also required.
- Complete an application and submit with photos. Angler award applications must be received by Jan. 15, 2013 for fish caught in 2012.
Anglers must possess appropriate Georgia fishing licenses and to be eligible for recognition. Where can you get a license? Buy it online or find a list of retail license vendors at www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes or buy it by phone at 1.800.366.2661.
Information regarding angler awards and state record fish can be found at www.georgiawildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources.