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Angler awards recognize great catches; be sure to submit yours this year

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. - More than 50 anglers reeled in a 2017 Angler Award for outstanding catches, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

This award program recognizes those who catch fish that meet or exceed a specific weight or length for that particular species. 

“The angler award program is a great way to celebrate catching a great fish,” Matt Thomas, chief of the WRD Fisheries Management Section, said. “Winners this past year ranged from age nine to age 66, with catches of everything from trout, to flathead catfish, to various bass species to bream.” 

The Wildlife Resources Division presented 2017 angler award recipients with a certificate and a hat embroidered with the angler’s name and the species and weight of the fish caught or the length of the fish caught (if catch-and-release).

Qualifications for angler awards include:

  • Catching the fish by legal hook and line sport fish methods in Georgia,
  • Meeting or exceeding the minimum weight OR length requirements,
  • Taking the fish to a division fisheries biologist for positive species identification OR including a clear, side-view photo of the fish for identification purposes,
  • Completing and submitting an angler award application

Other Fishing Recognition Programs

State Records: In addition to the angler award program, the division also maintains a freshwater fish state-record program for anglers who land a catch that exceeds the existing record catch weight by 1 ounce or more.  More information at

Kids First Fish Certificate: The division wants to recognize children across the state for catching their first fish with the online kid’s first fish award certificate available at

To view the complete list of 2017 award winners and learn about award criteria, visit or contact the nearest Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Management office. 

Georgia anglers support fisheries conservation! Did you know that your license purchase allows the Georgia WRD to continue to do important research, maintain and operate public fishing areas and more! Purchase a Georgia license at