Freshwater Sportfishing Catch & Keep Rules and Minimum Weights

Affidavit: Complete Electronic Sportfishing Affidavit Form (be prepared to upload photo) or Download and mail Sportfishing Affidavit pdf format of Sportfishing Affidavit Catch & Keep
(printed photo must be included)

  1. All legally licensed anglers are eligible for the Massachusetts Freshwater Sportfishing Awards.
  2. Anglers aged 17 or under are eligible for Youth Sportfishing Awards (see minimum weights below).
  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 at all times. This rule does not apply to the Wachusett or Quabbin Reservoirs, or other public bodies of water which are closed on a seasonal basis.
  4. Fish taken from waters which are not open to the public at all times (such as private ponds or sporting club ponds) are NOT eligible for awards.
  5. Fish must be caught on hook and line, except carp, which may also be taken with spears or bow and arrow.
  6. MassWildlife regulations prohibit the transportation of live fish without a permit, hence, any fish submitted for weighing must be dead.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. ). If there is any question of species identification, the fish should be kept frozen whole until identification is confirmed by a fisheries biologist at MassWildlife Field Headquarters in Westborough or at any of the five MassWildlife District offices.
  9. All potential state record fish must be presented in their entirety (whole) to qualified fisheries personnel at MassWildlife Field Headquarters in Westborough or at any of the five MassWildlife District offices.
  10. It is the angler’s responsibility to provide MassWildlife with completed affidavits and required photos. Note: All affidavits must be postmarked no later than January 10th of the following year.
  11. All photographs or images associated with the program, including those submitted by anglers and those taken by agency personnel, become the property of MassWildlife. Names of anglers, photographic or videographic images may be used in agency publications, promotional materials, or for other non-commercial uses.
  12. MassWildlife reserves the right to change or modify the program rules at any time. All decisions of MassWildlife 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
Broodstock Salmon10 lb. 0 oz.5 lb. 0 oz.
Brook Trout2 lb. 0 oz.1 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 Muskellunge
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.
*Includes Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Redbreast Sunfish, Green Sunfish, and Rock Bass

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