Anglers who catch trophy-sized fish that do not qualify for a state record can have their fishing feats officially recognized by the Commission through the N.C. Angler Recognition Program (NCARP). Minimum fish size requirements and details on how to apply are contained in this section.
Anglers who catch a fish that meets or exceeds either weight or length requirements can submit their catch information to the Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries in exchange for a certificate of recognition featuring a color reproduction of the fish species by renowned wildlife artist Duane Raver.
Anglers who collect six NCARP certificates receive a Master Angler certificate and patch. Because either lengths or weights can be used to certify fish as NCARP-eligible trophy fish, anglers can practice catch-and-release with their fish.
Apply for an NCARP certificate by completing an NCARP application.
Applications are also available at many bait and tackle shops, sporting good stores and other Wildlife Service Agent locations and in the North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest. A $5 fee with each application covers costs associated with the program.
Youth age 15 and younger can apply for a Youth NCARP certificate for any of the fish species listed below. Minimum length and weight requirements are waived.
How to Measure a Fish (PDF)
For more information about NCARP, call (919) 707-0220.
NCARP Minimum Trophy Fish Weight or Length Requirements
* New species added September 2008
** Species minimum weight and/or length requirement changed