Game and Fish: 900 anglers participated in Master Angler program

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Release) - Wyoming has big fish, and there are 900 anglers who can vouch for it. These anglers showed the Wyoming Game and Fish Department their impressive catches and were awarded as Master Anglers, a designation to honor people who catch trophy-sized game fish in Wyoming waters.

Participating in the program is easy, even if catching a trophy is challenging. An angler who lands a fish that meets or exceeds the minimum qualifying length from snout to the tip of a pinched tail must take and submit a side-view photograph of the fish. Include in the photograph an object, like a ruler or a coin, to validate the length. Submit the photo, angler information and details about the species and where it was caught on the Game and Fish website.

Trophy fish represent the largest fish in the state— the top 5% — of the 24 eligible species. Some fisheries in Wyoming are managed for trophy sizes while others are for high catch rates and species diversity. Anglers can use information from the Master Angler webpage to see which waters have yielded trophy fish.

“We have received eligible fish from tiny creeks and ponds to our largest rivers and reservoirs and have awarded Master Angler entries for every species except shovelnose sturgeon,” said Mark Smith, Game and Fish assistant fisheries management coordinator.

Catching one trophy-sized fish earns the title of master angler, a species-specific decal sticker and recognition on the Game and Fish website. Five different trophy-length species designates someone as a Trophy Angler, carrying the same prizes as a Master Angler and a commemorative medallion. Those who catch 10 different trophy species get the title of Ultimate Angler and earn the Trophy Angler prizes as well as a special prize package.

The Master Angler program has been wildly popular amongst Wyoming anglers, Smith said. Since the program’s inception just over a year ago, Game and Fish has awarded 900 master anglers, 25 trophy anglers and two ultimate anglers.

Fish must be legally caught in Wyoming after June 1, 2019, to be eligible for the Master Angler program. To submit an entry or for measurement tips and a list of masters, visit wgfd.wyo.gov/Fishing-and-Boating/Master-Angler.