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New York


Angler Achievement Awards

Each year numerous anglers take to the water in hope of catching a trophy-sized fish. For those lucky enough to land a large fish, one way of marking the event is to enter the fish in DEC’s New York State Angler Achievement Awards Program. Awards are given for catching any of 42 different eligible freshwater fish species. You can enter your catch in any of three categories—Annual Award, Catch and Release, and State Record.

(Before submitting your entry, be sure to check the complete set of rules by scanning the QR code or visiting

Rules of entry:

  • Fish must be taken during their respective open season by angling or ice fishing in NYS waters in accordance with NYS fishing regulations.
  • Entries must be received within 30 days of catch.
  • All entries must be accompanied by a clear, side-view photograph of the fish or if possible, the angler with the fish. Information provided on the entry form and any associated photographs become the property of DEC and may be used for promotional purposes.
  • Pins awarded annually will be limited to one pin per angler per species.
  • Fish entered in the Annual Award and State Record Categories need to be weighed on a certified scale (post offices, supermarkets, bait shops, etc.).
  • Fish entered in the Catch and Release Category should be measured from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail. Fish must be photographed at the catch site and promptly released. Fish not released promptly, improperly handled, or in poor condition will result in disqualification.
  • To qualify as a new state record, fish must exceed previous record by a minimum of 1 oz. The fish must be identified and examined by a DEC Fisheries Biologist (or designee) prior to any cutting of the fish or removal of entrails.
  • Send completed entry forms and photos to: NYS DEC Bureau of Fisheries, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4753 or email to