The Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) will be hosting the Fifth Annual Trophy Fish Award Ceremony at the Northeast Fishing and Hunting Show in the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford at 5:30 pm on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Seventy-five anglers will be presented certificates recognizing their achievement of having caught or landed the largest fish in one of several species categories during 2012.
The Ceremony is a recent addition to the Department’s Trophy Fish Award Program. This program recognizes anglers for catching freshwater and saltwater fish of qualifying size. Anglers complete and submit an affidavit with an attached photo of their catch. The program has evolved in the years since its inception. There are now youth (anglers under the age of 16) and adult categories for both catch-and-release fishing and for those who harvest their catch and special awards for new state record holders.
New state records were set for seven fish species this year and for blue crab in 2012. In addition to the new state record fish (two inland and five marine), there were also numerous records set in the marine offshore, youth, catch-and-release and exotic species categories.
“These many awards demonstrate the excellent fishing opportunities that we have right here in Connecticut,” said Bill Hyatt, Chief of DEEP’s Bureau of Natural Resources. “Fishing is a great outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by the entire family and it can be done close to home.”
DEEP will also again be recognizing several anglers as “Angler of the Year”. Special recognition will be awarded to two freshwater and three saltwater anglers who received Trophy Fish Awards in the widest array of categories in 2012. “This award is intended to promote the diversity of fishing opportunities found in Connecticut waters and to make anglers aware of some of Connecticut’s less familiar species,” explained Dave Simpson, Director of DEEP’s Marine Fisheries Division.
The public is welcome at the Trophy Fish Awards Ceremony, located in the ballroom of the Connecticut Convention Center, and admission to the ceremony is free. The Northeast Fishing & Hunting Expo can be enjoyed either before or after the ceremony (note that entrance doors close at 7:00 pm and the show is over at 8:00 pm). Admission is charged for the Expo, for more information visit: www.fishinghuntingshow.com/.
More information about the Trophy Fish Award Program is available in the Connecticut Angler’s Guide, on the DEEP website (www.ct.gov/deep/fishing ), or by contacting the Inland Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH) or the Marine Fisheries Division (860-434-6043).
Fishing opportunities now abound year round in our inland and marine waters, and anglers are reminded that fishing licenses can be purchased 24/7 on-line at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishinglicense