Monday, February 16, 2009

Anglers Receive Honors from Georgia Wildlife Resources Division

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division recently awarded 26 anglers with a 2008 angler award for reeling in an outstanding catch (or catches!) last year. The angler award program recognizes those who catch fish that meet or exceed a specific weight for that particular species.

“Presenting angler awards to those who made some great catches last year is a great time to not only applaud the award recipients, but it’s also a wonderful time to recognize the great fishing opportunities - such as the nine public fishing areas - that are available to everyone in the state,” says Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Management Chief John Biagi. “Fishing also is a great way to spend quality time with family and friends, and most people recognize that outdoor recreation activities actually strengthen the family as a unit and children as individuals.”

The Wildlife Resources Division presents 2008 angler award recipients with a certificate signed by division Director Dan Forster and an embroidered baseball cap that reads, “Georgia Angler Award 2008” and is customized to include the species and weight of the fish caught by each winner. Qualifications for angler awards include:

- Catching the fish by legal hook and line sport fish methods in Georgia,

- Meeting or exceeding the minimum weight OR length requirements,

- Taking the fish to a division fisheries biologist for positive species identification OR including a clear, side view photo of the fish for identification purposes,

- Completing and submitting an angler award application to: Wildlife Resources Division/Angler Award Application/2070 U.S. Hwy. 278, SE, Social Circle, GA 30025.

In addition to the angler award program, the division also maintains a freshwater fish state record program for anglers who land a catch that exceeds the existing record catch weight by one ounce or more. State record fish award winners also receive a certificate of recognition and an embroidered baseball cap that reads, “Georgia State Record Holder,” and includes the award winner’s name, the species, the weight and the date caught.

That’s not all, though - the division also is helping to recognize children across the state for catching their first fish with the online kid’s first fish award certificate available at www.gofishgeorgia.com . Parents can easily download the certificate, fill in the pertinent information and present it to a child for a fish well caught.

For more information regarding fishing in Georgia, including official angler award and state record program rules and the kids first fish certificate, visit www.gofishgeorgia.com or contact the nearest Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Management office.

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