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Let your kids brag about their huge catch—and have the state record to prove it
AUSTIN – Getting credit for catching a record fish in Texas is easier than you may think, especially if you’re a youngster.
Better still from a conservation standpoint, you can hang a nice Texas Parks and Wildlife certificate on your wall instead of a mounted trophy.
“With school out and plenty of time for fishing, the department would like parents to know the chances of their kid becoming a record holder are really good,” says Joedy Gray, who runs TPWD’s Angler Recognition Program. “The odds are in a young angler’s favor because there are a lot of bodies of water in Texas for which no one has applied for a record yet.”
Junior anglers under the age of 17 are encouraged to set records in fishing holes around the state this summer. In areas where there is no existing record, fish must be at least the legal size. To record the fish, remember to find a certified scale location and have a measuring tape handy. For a list of locations with certified scales, visit the TPWD site at: http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/programs/fishrecords/scales.phtml.
The Angler Recognition Program maintains state records for public and private waters including all lakes, rivers and bays. In addition to size records, the program recognizes other fishing achievements including first fish (for any angler, any age), big fish (for landing a trophy fish of any qualifying species), elite angler (for catching five trophy-class freshwater or saltwater fish) and outstanding angler (for a catch that does not fit other award categories but still deserves recognition.)
If a junior angler’s first fish turns out to be a state and water body record for weight and length and also qualifies for a Big Fish award then that youth is looking at six separate awards for their one fish.
If you are unsure of your fishing hole’s records, look them up on your phone with the program’s mobile record search at: http://tinyurl.com/texfish
For more information, visit the program’s site at: http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishrecords/.
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