VT Announces 2016 Master Angler Awards
April 20, 2017
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has announced that 47 anglers have garnered “Master Angler” status for 2016, including 2 Vermonters who successfully completed a difficult bonus challenge set by the Department last year.
“2016 marked the seventh year of the Master Angler program, and anglers from near and far continued to impress with their eagerness to learn about, target and land trophy-size fish of so many different species across Vermont,” said Shawn Good, fisheries biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “There were dozens of impressive entries into the program, highlighted by the first bonus challenge winners, and the first two submissions of lake whitefish since the program’s inception, meaning that all 33-eligible species have now been entered.”
In order to achieve “Master Angler” status, anglers must enter trophy fish of a minimum length for at least 5 of the 33 eligible species. Anglers are required to submit a photograph of their fish, along with accurate measurements and catch data including when, where and how the fish was caught. Anglers must also indicate if the fish was harvested or released.
Both youth participant Chase Stokes of Ferrisburg and adult angler Drew Price of Colchester successfully tackled the Master Angler “bonus challenge.” The two were the only anglers to catch and enter trophy-size lake trout, chain pickerel, fallfish, yellow perch and white sucker, which were pre-selected by the Department for the challenge. The species represent the challenge categories of cold-water fish, warm-water fish, panfish, alternative fish and one “wild card” species.
“The goal of the new bonus challenge was to encourage anglers to fish for a wider variety of fish species than they might normally target,” said Good. “Chase and Drew, who are longtime participants of the Master Angler program, proved again through the bonus challenge the depth of their angling skillset and why they can be considered 2 of Vermont’s most successful multi-species anglers.”
Stokes and Price were awarded gift cards to local tackle shops, and will receive a commemorative lapel pin as part of earning the traditional “Master Angler” designation alongside the other 45 winners.