The Angler Achievement Awards Program established a new state record for brook trout, the New York State Department of Conservation has announced.
“Almost 200 entries were submitted into the program in 2013 with more than 75 percent of those qualified under the Catch and Release Category, indicating the sound stewardship ethic of New York’s anglers,” DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said in a press release.
“Not only does the Angler Achievement Awards Program provide deserved recognition to those anglers catching trophy fish, it also provides a useful snapshot of the quality of the state’s freshwater fishery.”
Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch, including a lapel pin commemorating their achievement.
The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award (kept fish) and State Record.
One new state record was established for New York’s state fish when Richard Beauchamp of Silver Lake (Hamilton County) caught a 6-pound brook trout using a Lake Clear Wabbler on May 16, 2013. Beauchamp’s catch surpassed the previous state record by 2 ounces, and is the fourth time a new state record has been set for brook trout in the past five years.
New York’s most popular sportfish — largemouth and smallmouth bass — comprised almost half of the entries received.
Among those was a 25½-inch largemouth bass caught and released from a private lake in Sullivan County, and a 24-inch smallmouth bass caught and released from the Niagara River.
Additional noteworthy catches from other eligible species included: a 42-inch common carp caught and released from Keuka Lake in Yates County; a 42-inch northern pike caught and released from the Allegheny River in Cattaraugus County; and a 12-pound, 3-ounce walleye caught from Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state, the press release states.