Thanks to Vermont Fisheries Biolgist Shawn Good, we now have a VERMONT MASTER ANGLER PROGRAM.

In designing this program, Shawn had a number of goals in mind:
  • Provide a way to encourage families to get out and catch fish, with the added challenge of shooting for personal "trophy" quality fish. What kid doesn't like getting a certificate with their name on it, commemorating a nice catch? 
  • Encourage anglers to challenge themselves to develop the necessary skills to catch large fish. 
  • Encourage the growth and development of anglers to learn about the different species in Vermont that grow large and can be caught on rod and reel, and learn how to catch them.

 Shawn goes on to say, "Alot of anglers are basically single-species fishermen. By highlighting and profiling the many opportunities out there in Vermont to catch a wide variety of fish species, anglers will learn about the fish, their habitat and habits, in order to try and catch them.
The final thing to say about this program is that unlike the previous 'annual record fish program' that only recognized one fish of each species each year, this program allows many people to participate and get recognized. Also, annual record fish had to be sacrificed and weighed on a certified scale. By going to a length-based system, the Vermont Master Angler Program allows and encourages catch and release of 'trophy' fish."

"The program provides a list of 33 different fish species that are abundant and can all be caught by hook and line. Minimum length benchmarks are established, and fish exceeding those benchmarks for each species are considered by the Department to be "trophy quality" specimens. There are two different length lists - one for adults and one for kids.

"Anglers catching one fish species exceeding the established minimum length limit will receive a certificate of achievement from the Department for catching a trophy fish. Anglers catching 5 fish of DIFFERENT SPECIES within the same calendar year will be considered VERMONT MASTER ANGLERS, and will receive a Vermont Master Angler lapel pin (see example below). These pins will change each year, and the idea is that anglers will want to continue participating in this program each year in hopes to collecting the changing pin series over time."

The full rules, species list, and entry form is available at the Vermont Fish and Wildlife website at: http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/masterangler.cfm

Thank you Shawn for your tireless efforts in developing this exciting new program for Vermont Anglers!

Fish on, fish H8 me.



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