N.C. Angler Recognition Program

So you caught a big fish (nice!), but it doesn’t quite qualify for a freshwater fishing state record. Good news – you can still have your catch officially recognized by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission through the N.C. Angler Recognition Program.


Latest, Greatest Catches!

Check out our Angler Recognition Program photo gallery on Flickr, for more angler-submitted photos. The photo gallery is updated on a continual basis so bookmark the page and check back often! 


Get Recognized!

If a fish meets or exceeds either weight or length requirements (see table below):

  • Fill out this online form to receive a FREE downloadable certificate featuring artwork of the species by renowned wildlife artist Duane Raver. 
  • Anglers 15 and younger do not need to meet the minimum weight and length requirements in order to receive a certificate.
  • Catch-and-release or catch-and-keep! Either way, snap a photo of your catch (including a fishy selfie – we want to see the angler, too!) to share. Submit your photo using the online form so we can post it on this page.
  • Collect six unique Angler Recognition Program certificates to receive a special edition Master Angler certificate and patch, mailed to you (limited to one certificate and patch per angler).
  • More information or questions about the Angler Recognition Program? Email ncarp@ncwildlife.org.



More Ways to Get Recognized!

Interested in recognition for your saltwater catch? The state's Division of Marine Fisheries offers its own program for saltwater species of fish. Learn more about the NC Saltwater Fishing Tournament here.


Do you enjoy collecting patches? There’s another way to commemorate your fishing achievements through our friends at the Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council (OHAC)! Anglers of all ages can receive beautifully designed patches for their first fish, a variety of freshwater and saltwater species and for completing an introductory fishing course. Learn more here about OHAC’s Patch Program.



Minimum Angler Recognition Program Fish Weight or Length Requirements


Species Min. Weight Min. Length
Largemouth Bass 8 lbs 24 in
Smallmouth Bass 3 lbs 19 in
Spotted Bass 2 lbs 15 in
Striped Bass 10 lbs 27 in
Bodie Bass (hybrid striped bass) 8 lbs 24 in
White Bass 2 lbs 17 in
White Perch  1 lb 12 in
Bowfin 10 lbs 22 in
Common Carp 20 lbs 34 in
Blue Catfish 30 lbs 41 in
Channel Catfish 10 lbs 30 in
Flathead Catfish 30 lbs 41 in
White Catfish 4 lbs 21 in
Bullhead Catfish (any species) 2 lbs 15 in
Crappie (black or white)  2 lbs 16 in
Freshwater Drum 12 lbs 28 in
Muskellunge 20 lbs 41 in
Chain pickerel 4 lbs 26 in
Redfin pickerel 10 oz 12 in
American Shad 3 lbs 16 in
Hickory Shad 2 lbs 13 in
Bluegill 1 lb 11 in
Flier 6 oz 8 in
Green Sunfish 1 lb 9 in
Pumpkinseed 14 oz 10 in
Redbreast 1 lb 11 in
Redear (shellcracker) 1 lb 11 in
Roanoke Bass 1 lb 11 in
Rock Bass 1 lb 11 in
Warmouth 1 lb 11 in
Brook Trout (hatchery supported or wild) 2 lbs 16 in
Brown Trout (hatchery supported or wild) 2 lbs; 8 oz 18 in
Rainbow Trout (hatchery supported or wild) 2 lbs; 8 oz 18 in
Kokanee Salmon 2 lbs 14 in
Walleye 5 lbs 23 in
Yellow Perch 1 lb 14 in
Longnose Gar 10 lbs 48 in