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Georgia's Angler Award Program

Official Rules for the Angler Award Program

View 2016 Angler Award winner information here!

All game fish, in addition to carp, catfish, bowfin, gar, and yellow perch are eligible for Angler Awards and Freshwater Fish State Records. Both resident and non-resident anglers are eligible. The Wildlife Resources Division reserves the right to refuse any questionable entry.

The Angler Award Program runs from Jan. 1 - Dec. 31. Applications must be received no later than Jan. 15 of the year following the catch. Rewards are awarded in February/March of the year following the catch.  For example, a fish meeting angler award requirements that is caught in April 2005 will be recognized in early 2006.  To qualify for an Angler Award, the fish must meet the minimum weight or length requirements listed at the menu link on the right ("Qualifying for the Georgia Angler Award").

Fish must be caught in Georgia during the legal angling season for the species taken in accordance with all fishing laws and regulations. Fish must be caught on sporting tackle and be hooked and landed by the entrant. Bush hooks, trot lines, jugs, baskets, nets, etc., are not considered sporting tackle.

To enter Angler Award Program, the angler must submit an   application and a clear, side-view photograph of the fish. A photograph of the angler with the fish must also be submitted. Fish total length (TL) must be measured with a ruler or tape measure. To determine TL, measure the fish from the tip of the snout to the back of the tail fin with the fin squeezed together. See below or back of application form for catch-and-release and length submission information. Fish may also be weighed on a certified scale (see below).

A "certified scale" means one that has been certified accurate to the nearest ounce, or lesser weight, by the Department of Agriculture within the last year. Fish may be weighed in pounds and ounces or in metric; however, metric weights will be converted to pounds and ounces. Estimated weights will not be accepted. The weight of the sling, platform or rope (if one is used when weighing the fish) must be determined and deducted from the total weight.

Only one-ounce graduations will be recognized. Visual fractionizing of graduations is not allowed. Weights that fall between two graduations of the scale must be rounded to the lower of the two.

For Angler Award Fish, a WRD Fisheries Section biologist or technician must identify the actual fish or a photo. See below for catch-and-release and length submission information. No mounted fish will be accepted. Please call before visiting a Fisheries Office to be sure someone is available to identify the fish.

Anglers whose fish qualify for an Angler Award will receive a certificate during February/March of the year following the catch. The names and addresses of individuals who receive Angler Awards and Freshwater Fish State Records may be released to the media and other interested parties.

Please send angler award applications to the following address: Wildlife Resources Division/Angler Award Application/2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE/Social Circle, GA 30025

Catch-and-Release Information (Angler Award Fish Only)

For fish being submitted for Angler Awards based on length and which have not been weighed on certified scales:

  1. Measure the fish to the nearest inch using a standard, English-unit ruler or measuring tape. Measure the fish as shown in the diagram on the application form.
  2. Clearly photograph the fish to permit proper identification and verification of length. Tips:
    > Photographs showing the entire length of the fish, the rod and reel used to make the catch and the ruler or tape used to measure the fish are helpful for faster application processing.
    > At a minimum, photograph the fish lying on its side on a flat surface with the ruler or marked tape placed beside the fish.
    > For proper species identification, the clearest possible photographs should be submitted. This is important in the case of hybrids and fishes that may be confused with similar species.
    > The fish should be broadside to the camera and no part of the fish should be obscured.
    > Photographs from various angles are most helpful.
  3. A photograph of the angler with the fish is also required.



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