Wednesday, February 1st, 2023
Wednesday, February 1st, 2023

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Sportsmen Since 1967

DNR unveils new Master Angler plan for 2002

Staff Writer

Walker, Minn. The start of the 2002 fishing season will usher in
a new Minnesota Master Angler program. The new program is a
cooperative effort between the Minnesota DNR, G. Loomis Rods, and
the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame.

The concept has been in the works for more than a year, was
finalized in November, and will recognize anglers who catch large
fish of various species. Categories include adult, youth, and catch
and release. It’s open to all Minnesota licensed anglers. Anglers
under 16 years of age are eligible but do not require a
license.

The idea, initiated by Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame Director
Chuck Beckman, began as a way to cultivate interest in fishing,
especially for kids. But once the ball started rolling, the program
expanded to include adults as well.

Beckman says similar programs in Manitoba, Kentucky, North
Carolina, and In-Fisherman magazine provide a model for the
Minnesota version. All have been very successful and supportive of
the Minnesota program.

“The support we’ve received from other parties has been
outstanding,” Beckman said. “We feel, because of their input, our
program will succeed as well.”

The DNR is funding the initial start-up costs. Approximately
$7,500 from the Aquatic Educational Fund will finance computer
programs, brochures, and educational materials for the program.

The operating costs, approximately $1,000 a month, are paid by
the program’s other partner, G. Loomis Rods. Its contribution will
provide money for mailing achievement certificates, award stickers,
and various other notification items for the program.

The Master Angler awards will be made available on three levels.
The Master Angler title is awarded to any legal angler who has
caught and released or harvested a trophy fish that qualifies by
length or weight requirements. An Expert Angler title is awarded to
any legal angler who has caught and released or harvested three
trophy fish of three different species that qualify by length and
weight. A Grand Master title will be awarded to any legal angler
who has caught and released or harvested five trophy fish of five
different species that qualify by length or weight.

Winners at each level will receive a letter of accommodation
from the DNR, a certificate of achievement, an award sticker, a
listing of their catch in the Master Angler annual, and a posting
on the Honors Wall of Fame at the Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame in
Walker.

Minnesota licensing vendors should be displaying posters and
distributing brochures on the Master Angler Program within the next
two weeks. You can also find more about the program by looking up
www.minnesotafishinghalloffame.com on the web.

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