Virginia Freshwater Fishing
I know that everyone must be looking forward to getting back out on the waters of Virginia for boating and fishing in 2016. The Department continues to work to improve both boating access and safety. In fact, the number of boating accidents has been trending downward annually for the past several years. This record is “no accident” given the Virginia mandatory boating safety education requirement adopted by the General Assembly in 2007.
Providing opportunities for all to enjoy boating and inland fishing as well as promoting safety for persons and property in conjunction with boating and fishing is part of our mission at VDGIF. Another important part of our mission is to maintain optimum populations of wildlife and inland fish to serve the needs of Virginians.
With regard to fishing I think a couple of points are worth mentioning. First, on average, Virginia anglers apply for over 5,000 trophy-size freshwater fish citations annually. Their accomplishments are recognized by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries through the Virginia Angler Recognition Program. Since 1963, when the program began, there have been 90,637 anglers who have recorded close to a quarter million trophy fish awards.
Second, at the Department’s October Board meeting, Mr. Stephen Miklandric of Richmond was recognized as the 2014 Angler of the Year Creel Award recipient. Mr. Miklandric set an all-time record with a total of 445 citations in a single year! The real accomplishment in Steven’s epic record goes way beyond the total number of trophy fish. It extends to the number of fish species caught which was 20 that qualified him for a Level 4 Master Angler in just one year and on 11 bodies of water in 7 counties.
I know that good fishing is available year-round, but many of us especially look forward to late winter and early spring to get back on the water. I hope that you will take the opportunity to introduce others to the great traditions of boating and fishing in our great Commonwealth. Here’s wishing you a safe and enjoyable boating and angling year in the Old Dominion.
I hope to see you out there!
Executive Director, VDGIF