NOTTINGHAM, MD—The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has recognized its first FishMaryland Master Angler Award recipient. Gary Simpson, of Nottingham, caught a total of 10 different species meeting all the minimum set requirements of the department’s new recreational fishing award program.
Simpson’s award-sized catches include: chain pickerel, largemouth bass, white perch, walleye, striped bass, crappie, smallmouth bass, blue crab, red drum, and the common carp.
“It takes a lot of talent and determination to achieve the Master Angler Award and we are very excited for Mr. Simpson,” Recreational Fishing Outreach Coordinator Erik Zlokovitz said. “Maryland’s fishery is diverse and offers opportunities for any angler.”
The department launched the FishMaryland challenge in February as a fun way to explore year-round recreational fishing and enjoy Maryland’s affordable, accessible, diverse, and high-quality fishing opportunities.
FishMaryland milestone awards recognize those skillful anglers who catch trophy-sized catches of different species caught after January 1, 2019. Each milestone is marked with a certificate and a color-coded sticker as follows:
Angler Award: For catching three different species, meeting the minimum length, the angler receives a yellow sticker.
Expert Angler Award: For catching five different species, meeting the minimum length, the angler receives a red sticker.
Master Angler Award: For catching ten different species, meeting the minimum length, the angler receives a black sticker.
Any angler fishing legally in Maryland may catch and report a trophy sized fish by landing any of more than 60 eligible species in five categories at or above a certain minimum size.