Vermont Master Angler Program
Vermont's wealth of waters and abundant fish populations provide the opportunity to experience outstanding fishing. An excellent way to enhance the Vermont angling experience is by challenging yourself to catch "exceptionally-sized" fish of various species.
The Vermont Master Angler Program is designed to recognize the achievements of anglers who catch exceptionally-sized fish from Vermont waters. This program recognizes the accomplishment of the angler in catching a large fish and the fish's accomplishment in surviving and growing to such an admirable size.
Trophy Angler - 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 new Vermont Trophy Fish Report, posted annually on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website.
Master Angler - Anglers demonstrating the skill necessary to catch multiple species that all exceed the minimum qualifying lengths outlined in this program, in the same calendar year, will be recognized as "Vermont Master Anglers" and will receive a lapel pin at the end of the year. To qualify for the annual Vermont Master Angler Pin, an individual angler must submit qualifying entries for 5 or more species categories within a calendar year. Pins will be issued at the end of the year.
View Master Angler pins »
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!
Have fun and enjoy this great new program, and don't forget to tell your friends and family!
Eligible Species List
|Master Angler Qualifying Fish Species List |
Does Your Catch Qualify?
|Fish Species ||Minimum Qualifying Lengths|
|American Eel ||24" ||19"|
|American Shad ||22" ||18"|
|Bass, Largemouth ||20" ||18"|
|Bass, Rock ||10" ||8"|
|Bass, Smallmouth ||19" ||17"|
|Bluegill ||9" ||8"|
|Bowfin ||28"|| 23"|
|Bullhead ||14" ||12"|
|Burbot ||22" ||18"|
|Carp ||34"|| 27"|
|Channel Catfish ||30" ||24"|
|Cisco (Lake Herring) ||13" ||11"|
|Crappie, Black & White ||13" ||11"|
|Fallfish ||15" ||12"|
|Freshwater Drum|| 26" ||21"|
|Gar, Longnose ||36" ||30"|
|Muskellunge ||36" ||30"|
|Northern Pike ||36" ||30"|
|Perch, White ||13" ||11"|
|Perch, Yellow ||13" ||11"|
|Pickerel, Chain ||24" ||19"|
|Pike-Pickerel Hybrid ||30" ||24"|
|Pumpkinseed Sunfish|| 9" ||8"|
|Salmon, Landlocked Atlantic|| 24" ||20"|
|Smelt, Rainbow ||9" ||8"|
|Sucker, Redhorse ||21" ||17"|
|Sucker, White & Longnose ||19" ||16"|
|Trout, Brook ||15" ||13"|
|Trout, Brown ||22" ||18"|
|Trout, Lake ||30" ||25"|
|Trout, Rainbow ||23" ||19"|
|Walleye ||25" ||20"|
|Whitefish, Lake ||22" ||18"|
- 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 lower 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 showing 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. If the angler is holding the fish, the angler's arms should not be extended, and some of the angler's fingers should be visible. The Angler may also photograph the fish lying on its side next to a measuring tape or ruler.
- After the fish is measured and photographed, it can either 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 Vermont Fish & Wildlife 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 now known or hereafter developed. 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.
- For a fish to be considered as a new Vermont State Record Fish, additional rules apply. Visit a Vermont Fish & Wildlife office or click here for a Vermont State Record Fish entry form.
Thank you for making a Master Angler submission.