Award Program Rules and Eligibility

Click here to download the Sportfishing Affidavit pdf format of Sportfishing Affidavit

  1. All anglers are eligible for the Massachusetts Freshwater Sportfishing Awards. Anglers 15  years or older must have a valid Massachusetts fishing or sporting license at the time of the catch to be eligible for sportfishing awards.
  2. Anglers aged 17 or under are eligible for Youth Sportfishing Awards (see minimum weights below). Youth 15 to 17 years of age, inclusive, must have a minor’s fishing license.
  3. Fish must be taken from waters within the state of Massachusetts (or the interstate ponds listed in the Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping) that are open to the public.
  4. Fish taken from waters which are not open to the public at all times (such as private ponds or fish and game club ponds) are NOT eligible for awards. This rule does not apply to the Wachusett or Quabbin Reservoirs, or other public bodies of water which are closed on a seasonal basis.
  5. Fish must be caught on hook and line, except carp, which may also be taken with spears or bow and arrow.
  6. Fish must be weighed on a scale certified by the Massachusetts Division of Standards or a town official, and the weighing must be witnessed by a second party.
  7. A clear, side view, close-up photograph of the fish must be included with all affidavits. In addition to a side view photo, all affidavits for catfish and bullheads must also include a full body, dorsal (back) view of the fish (Click here to see photo example Link to the image file. ). All fish should be kept frozen whole until identification is confirmed.
  8. Due to the similarities between brown trout and broodstock salmon, all brown trout must be presented in their entirety (whole) to qualified fisheries personnel at MDFW Field Headquarters in Westborough or at any of the five MDFW District offices (as listed in the Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping).
  9. All potential state record fish must be presented in their entirety (whole) to qualified fisheries personnel at MDFW Field Headquarters in Westborough or at any of the five MDFW District offices.
  10. Per MDFW regulations prohibiting the transportation of live fish without a permit, any fish submitted for weighing must be dead.
  11. It is the angler’s responsibility to provide the MDFW with completed affidavits and required photos. Note: All affidavits must be postmarked no later than January 10th of the following year.
  12. All photographs or images associated with the program, including those submitted by anglers and those taken by agency personnel, become the property of the MDFW. Names of anglers, photographic or videographic images may be used in agency publications, promotional materials, or for other non-commercial uses.
  13. 3.   MDFW reserves the right to change or modify the program rules at any time. All decisions of MDFW are final.

 

Minimum Weights

Below are the minimum weights for fish submitted for both the adult and youth categories of the Freshwater Sportfish Awards Program. Anglers submitting fish that meet these weights will receive a bronze pin for their catch.

 

Minimum Weights by Species
SpeciesAdultYouth
Brook trout2 lb. 0 oz.1 lb. 0 oz.
Broodstock salmon10 lb. 0 oz.5 lb. 0 oz.
Brown trout
4 lb. 0 oz.
2 lb. 0 oz.
Bullhead
2 lb. 0 oz.
1 lb. 0 oz.
Carp
15 lb. 0 oz.
10 lb. 0 oz.
Chain pickerel
4 lb. 8 oz.
3 lb. 0 oz.
Channel catfish
6 lb. 0 oz.
5 lb. 0 oz.
Crappie
1 lb. 8 oz.
1 lb. 0 oz.
Lake trout
7 lb. 0 oz.
5 lb. 0 oz.
Landlocked salmon*
4 lb. 0 oz.
3 lb. 0 oz.
Largemouth bass
7 lb. 0 oz.
4 lb. 0 oz.
Northern pike
15 lb. 0 oz.
10 lb. 0 oz.
Rainbow trout
3 lb. 0 oz.
2 lb. 0 oz.
Shad
5 lb. 0 oz.
3 lb. 0 oz.
Smallmouth bass
4 lb. 8 oz.
3 lb. 0 oz.
Sunfish**
0 lb. 12 oz.
0 lb. 8 oz.
Tiger muskie
10 lb. 0 oz.
7 lb. 0 oz.
Tiger trout
2 lb. 0 oz.
1 lb. 0 oz.
Walleye
4 lb. 0 oz.
2 lb. 0 oz.
White catfish
4 lb. 0 oz.
2 lb. 0 oz.
White perch
1 lb. 8 oz.
1 lb. 0 oz.
Yellow perch
1 lb. 8 oz.
1 lb. 0 oz.
* Landlocked salmon are only recognized from Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs
** Sunfish category includes bluegill, pumpkinseed and rock bass