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News Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

If you've never participated before, it's easy to get involved. Those who have experience with the Program should take note of the new submission deadline rules for 2019.
  • Division of Fisheries and Wildlife

Media Contact for Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

Marion Larson, MassWildlife

freshwater sportfish awards program

The spring fishing season is here, and it’s the perfect time to take part in MassWildlife’s Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program. The Program, which has been around for more than 50 years, recognizes anglers who catch exceptional freshwater fish from Massachusetts waters that are open to the public. It’s easy to get involved—when you think you’ve caught a trophy fish, take a photo, weigh or measure your fish, and submit your catch. There are categories for Catch and Release and for Adult and Youth Catch and Keep. Twenty-two fish species are eligible for entry in the Program. If you catch and enter a fish that meets the minimum weight or length you’ll get a bronze pin for that species. If you submit the largest or longest fish in an eligible species category, you’ll get a gold pin and a plaque; you’ll also be honored at a MassWildlife awards event at the end of the season. Get all the details about entering your catch.

New rules for 2019

We will be making every attempt to update the leader board more frequently in 2019! To help this effort, and to make the leader board meaningful and accurate, we will be bringing back the 30 day submission deadlineStarting April 1, 2019, all entries must be submitted within 30 days of the date of the catch.

Submit your entry online

Save time and a stamp by submitting your Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program entry using the online affidavit. Just enter information about you and your catch, upload a photo of your fish, and click submit! Online forms are processed faster than paper forms, allowing us to award pins and update the leader board more quickly. If you plan to keep your fish, use the online Catch and Keep affidavit; if you are releasing your catch, use the online Catch and Release affidavit.

2018 winners

Winners of the 2018 Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program have been announced! Angler of the Year awards are given in 3 categories to the person who catches the most species that meet the minimum weight or length requirements. Check out a list of the 2018 top catches by species.


  • Todd Matera of Palmer is the Catch & Keep Adult Angler of the Year. He caught 11 of the 22 eligible species.
  • Jason Bunar of Kingston and Andrew Langley of Peabody tied for Catch & Keep Youth Angler of the Year. Both anglers caught 21 of the 22  eligible species.
  • Michael Nee of Framingham is the Catch & Release Angler of the Year. He caught 15 of 22 species.
  • 8 new state records were awarded in the Catch & Release category.


Media Contact for Enter your catch in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program

Division of Fisheries and Wildlife 

MassWildlife is responsible for the conservation of freshwater fish and wildlife in the Commonwealth, including endangered plants and animals. MassWildlife restores, protects, and manages land for wildlife to thrive and for people to enjoy.