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For Release: Wednesday, March 21, 2018

DEC's 2017 Angler Achievement Awards Recognize New York's Trophy Catches

Two New State Record-Breaking Catches

The State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC's) Angler Achievement Awards Program continues to gain popularity with New York anglers, Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today. The program recognizes anglers that catch freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria. In addition to the official recognition of their catch, anglers receive a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement.

"The high number of qualified entries and record catches celebrated in this year's Angler Achievement Awards are a prime example of the high quality and diverse fish found in New York's waters," said Commissioner Seggos. "I'm proud to honor these remarkable achievements and record catches and congratulate our state's skillful anglers."

In 2017, two anglers qualified for record-breaking catches. Eric Scordo caught a 35 lb. 3 oz. channel catfish from Lake Ontario (Jefferson County) on April 29, 2017, and Jason Bair caught a 36-lb. freshwater drum from Oneida Lake (Oneida County) on June 16, 2017.

Other notable catches include an impressive 39-inch lake trout caught and released from Lake Erie (Chautauqua County), a 7 lb. 10 oz. largemouth bass caught from Loch Sheldrake Lake (Sullivan County), and a 58-inch muskellunge caught and released from the St. Lawrence River (Jefferson County).

The program's three categories are: Catch & Release, Annual Award (kept fish), and State Record. With 43 eligible fish species, the possibilities for anglers of all skill levels to participate are endless. In addition to providing deserved recognition to those anglers catching trophy fish, the program provides a useful snapshot of the quality of the state's freshwater fishery.

In 2017, 150 entries were submitted with more than 80 percent qualified under the Catch and Release Category, indicating the sound stewardship ethic of New York's anglers. New York's most popular sportfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, made up most of the species submissions. Forty-five of New York's 62 counties were represented in entries submitted last year-a great example of the abundant fishing opportunities throughout New York State.

Further information on DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form can be found on DEC's website. Full program details and an entry form can also be found in DEC's Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program contact (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov.

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