Rules and Procedures
Maryland DNR maintains state records for sport fish and awards a plaque to an angler whose catch exceeds the current state record or establishes a new species category. Positive identification of the species of fish is mandatory for consideration of state record applications. The catch must be inspected in person by a fisheries biologist from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Immerse the fish in ice water until it can be weighed in order to preserve the weight.
Call 443-569-1381 or 410-260-8325 to report a potential state record catch. You must submit a state record application within two weeks of the date you catch the fish.
State record fish are determined by weight. Most fishing tackle shops do not have certified scales, so call ahead. Other establishments that sell products byweight (for example grocery or mailing/shipping stores) may have a certified scale and may be willing to help.
Except for fish in the invasive species division, all fish must be legally caught with rod and reel during its open season. From the time that a fish strikes or takes a bait or lure, the angler must hook and fight the fish without the aid of any other person. The reel must be operated manually. Once the leader is brought to the rod tip, more than one person is permitted to help land the fish.
Fish designated as eligible for the Invasive Species division of the Maryland Fishing Challenge (currently Northern Snakehead, Blue Catfish and Flathead Catfish) can be caught and kept by all legal recreational fishing gear including rod and reel, bow and spears.
Fish caught from privately-owned fee fishing waters are not eligible for record consideration.
The fish must be considered trophy sized for DNR to consider opening a new species category for recognition. Thresholds for trophy size are established by DNR using the best data available to create a benchmark weight.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources reserves the right to investigate the methods used in catching the fish and
the accuracy of measuring and weighing. It also reserves the right to reject any application based on the results of the investigation.
To check current state records visit
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.