Marine News from the Great Lakes

Another successful year for DNR's Master Angler program

Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2016

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced the 2015 results from its Master Angler program, which since 1973 has recognized large fish caught by recreational anglers.

This past year, 1,542 anglers representing 15 states and Canada submitted catches that were recognized as Master Angler fish. That's a better-than-50-percent increase over the 987 fish recognized in 2014. The large increase likely stems from the department's simplification of the Master Angler application.Of the entries accepted in 2015, 899 were categorized as “catch and keep” and 643 were categorized as “catch and release.”

Here is a breakdown of the most popular 2015 Master Angler entries by species:

  • 142 bluegill
  • 124 crappie
  • 118 walleye
  • 89 channel catfish
  • 87 freshwater drum
  • 82 smallmouth bass

Master Angler entries for 2015 included six state records, including smallmouth bass (9.33 pounds, caught on Hubbard Lake by Greg Gasiciel of Rhodes), quillback carpsucker (8.52 pounds, caught on Hardy Dam Pond by Garrett Reid of Nashville), quillback carpsucker (9.42 pounds, caught on Hardy Dam Pond by Blake Wilson of Lake Ann), black buffalo (44.54 pounds, caught on the Grand River by Sage Colegrove of Muskegon), white perch (2.0 pounds, caught on Bear Lake by Cindy Lou Cordo of North Muskegon) and freshwater drum (28.61 pounds, caught on Gun Lake by Mark Leep of Middleville).

Submissions already are being accepted for the 2016 Master Angler program, and will continue to be accepted through Jan. 10, 2017. Download an application at Anglers are encouraged to submit their applications as they catch their fish and to not hold them until the end of the year. 

tags: Dept of Natural Resources, Fishing

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