Vermont’s Master Angler program recognizes an angler’s accomplishment in catching a large fish and the fish's accomplishment in surviving and growing to an exceptional size.
Here’s a way to enhance your angling experience is by challenging yourself to catch a variety of "exceptionally-sized" fish species.
Anglers catching a fish exceeding the minimum qualifying length in any of the 33 species categories will receive a handsome certificate commemorating the catch. Their names and catches will also be included in the Vermont Trophy Fish Report, posted annually on this website.
Anglers demonstrating the skill necessary to catch at least 5 different fish species, all exceeding the minimum qualifying lengths within a calendar year, will be recognized as "Vermont Master Anglers." They will receive a lapel pin commemorating their accomplishment. Pins are issued at the end of the year.
The Vermont Master Angler Program accepts entries for fish that have been harvested or released. Just be sure to follow the rules on submitting a good, clear photograph of your catch!
Anyone possessing a current, valid Vermont fishing license is eligible. Anglers under the age of 15 at the time of the catch are eligible to submit fish following the Youth minimum length requirements, which are less than the Adult minimum length requirements.
All fish must be taken by legal sportfishing methods, during open season, and in waters that can be fished with a Vermont fishing license.
Fish angled in private or commercial fish waterbodies are not eligible.
The angler must measure the fish from tip of snout to tip of tail.
The angler must submit a photograph of the fish that allows for the size of the fish to be judged. For pictures of the angler holding the fish, at least one of the angler’s fingers should be visible on the fish. The fish can also be photographed next to a ruler, measuring tape, or an object of known size (e.g., fishing rod, tip-up, tackle box, etc.). The best pictures show a clear side view of the entire fish, including the tail. Photos that are clearly intended to exaggerate the size of the fish or that make it difficult to judge the actual size of the fish will not be accepted.
After the fish is measured and photographed, it can be harvested (if within the open season) or released where it was caught.
Entries must be submitted no later than January 15 to be considered for the previous calendar year.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department (VFWD) will be the sole and final judge as to the acceptance of the entries, and reserves the right to request additional information in the best interest of the program and to disqualify unverifiable entries. VFWD reserves the right to reject any entries that do not meet the established criteria.
By submitting an entry, the angler understands that the information, including photographs, contained in each entry becomes the property of the department. By submitting photographs, the angler grants the department the non-exclusive right to copy, publish and distribute the image as well as the right to retain and distribute the photographs for archival and/or retrieval use, published or otherwise, in all media.
The information contained in the application and accompanying photograph may be used in, but not limited to press releases, published articles and promotional materials. Photographs will not be returned.
Check out the current State Record Fish by species or the All Time Records database to see how your fish measures up to the largest recorded fish.
For a fish to be considered as a new Vermont State Record Fish, additional rules apply. Visit a Vermont Fish & Wildlife office or download a Vermont State Record Fish entry form.