Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa’s master angler program presented 304 awards for 28 different fish species caught in 84 DNR managed lakes during the 2014 fishing season. Largemouth bass reeled in the most entries with 49 fish from 35 lakes, followed by crappies with 43 entries caught in 32 lakes.
“Not only were multiple species caught in a single lake but several fish of the same type were angled out of a single lake,” said Lewis Bruce, DNR fisheries technician. “A good example is West Okoboji, this natural lake located in northwest Iowa tallied 39 awards for yellow bass in 2014.”
Qualifying fish were caught during each month of the year. Anglers caught the most entries, 57, in May, followed by 53 entries in June. “A majority of channel catfish were angled in August and September,” said Bruce.
The master angler program is modeled after similar programs in other states that recognize anglers who catch a memorable fish. Anglers who fill out the entry form and submit an electronic photo receive a commemorative certificate of accomplishment and a car or boat decal.
Anglers who catch five different qualifying species earn a silver master angler award and those who catch 10 different qualifying species earn a gold master angler award.
Master angler species minimum lengths, potential master angler hotspots and entry forms are available on the master angler webpage at http://www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/MasterAnglerFirstFish.aspx