Angler Recognition Program

“Trophy-sized fish” that are caught in Virginia waters can be registered through the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources' Angler Recognition Program. This program grants: 
Trophy Fish Awards: Certificates for registration of trophy size fish. 
Expert Angler Awards: Certificates and patches for registration of 10 trophy fish of the same species. 
Master Angler Awards I-V: Certificates and patches for registration of 5 trophy fish of different species. Five successive levels. 
Angler of the Month: Pins for registration of the largest trophy fish of each species, by certified weight, each month. 
Angler of the Year: Pins for registration of the largest trophy fish of each species, by certified weight, each year. 
Creel of the Year: Recognizes the angler who catches and registers the most trophy-sized fish from January 1 through December 31, annually. Accolade presented is determined annually.

Program Policies

  • The fish must be caught in Virginia waters (within the state line on boundary waters), the freshwater part of the Potomac River that borders Virginia, or above the designated freshwater/saltwater line on tidal waters.
  • The fish must be caught legally (in accordance with Virginia Freshwater Fishing Regulations) by noncommercial methods.
  • The fish must meet or exceed the minimum weight or length.
  • The fish must be registered according to the proper procedures. Fish may be certified by weight, or length, or both. Weights from store-certified scales or personal scales will be accepted. Personal scales must be calibrated and certified within a year of date of catch. Click here for more information about calibrating and certifying scales.
  • Applications must be received within 60 days to be eligible for Angler of the Month/Year competition. There is no deadline for submission of a Trophy Fish Award Application.
  • All applicants are encouraged to submit a photo of their catch with each submission.