Master Angler program introduces a few changes

LANSING – Anyone hoping to submit a catch to Michigan’s Master Angler program — which each year recognizes the largest fish of several dozen species — will want to pay close attention to the 2019 application.

The Department of Natural Resources has added a few new rules to the program for 2019, including:

— No more than one entry for fish of the exact same size will be accepted for each species. (For example, if you catch two 10-inch bluegills, submit just one.)

— Each entry must include at least one photo showing the fish being measured. Color photos of the entire fish are required, too; entries received without color photos will not be accepted.

“The DNR’s Master Angler program has more than tripled in popularity in the last five years,” said Lynne Thoma, administrator. “We want to recognize as many anglers as possible for their fishing accomplishments, while retaining the integrity of this program. We feel these new rules will help us do that.”

The Master Angler program runs on the calendar year (Jan. 1 through Dec. 31), rather than the fishing license year (April 1 through March 31).

The program includes more than 50 species of fish in both catch-and-keep and catch-and-release categories. All fish entered must be taken by legal Michigan sportfishing methods, during the open season, and in Michigan waters open to the public.

Download the 2019 Master Angler application at Michigan.gov/MasterAngler.

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