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Catch and keep rules and minimum weights

MassWildlife's Freshwater Sportfishing Awards program complete rules for the catch & keep category.

Affidavit

Complete the electronic sportfishing affidavit form (be prepared to upload photo) or download and mail the sportfishing affidavit with a printed photo (form is below).

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Rules

  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. Anglers aged 15-17 must have a license to fish.
  3. Fish must be taken from Massachusetts waters (or from one of the interstate ponds listed in the Guide to Hunting, Fishing and Trapping) that are open to the public at all times. Fish taken from 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.
  4. Fish must be caught on hook and line, except carp, which may also be taken with spears or bow and arrow.
  5. For the Catch and Keep category, fish must be weighed on a scale certified by the Massachusetts Division of Standards or a town official (this includes personal scales), and the weighing must be witnessed by a second party. Scales must be certified the year of catch. Proof of certification must be provided to MassWildlife.
  6. A clear, side view, close-up photograph of the fish against a flat, clearly labeled measuring device must be included with all affidavits. Affidavits for catfish and bullheads must also include a photograph of the top view of the fish (see example below).
  7. Any potential Catch and Keep state record fish must be presented in its entirety (whole) to Fisheries staff at MassWildlife Field Headquarters or at any of the five district offices.
  8. Transportation of live fish is prohibited without a permit. Any fish submitted for weighing must be dead.
  9. Completed affidavits and all required photos must be submitted within 30 days of the date of catch. Note: December affidavits must be submitted no later than January 10th of the following year. We encourage online submissions for faster processing.
  10. All photos or images associated with the program, including those submitted by anglers or taken by MassWildlife staff, become property of MassWildlife. Names of anglers and images may be used in agency publications, promotional materials, or for other non-commercial use.
  11. MassWildlife reserves the right to change or modify the program rules at any time. All decisions by MassWildlife are final.

 

Include a dorsal view image for catfish and bullhead entries.
Include a dorsal view image for catfish and bullhead entries.

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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
Species Adult Youth
Bowfin  6 lb. 0 oz. 4 lb. 0 oz.
Brook Trout 2 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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