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Catching a big fish regardless of the species is always a thrill for any angler.  But only fish that are caught and can be kept legally are eligible for state record verification. In addition, all fish must be positively identified by the DNR before a state record is awarded.

However, some taxidermists will build a replica from the measurements and photo you might take before releasing your fish. And there is another way for anglers to enjoy the rewards of catch and release: The Master Angler program, which is sponsored by the DNR and Minnesota Fishing Hall of Fame. It recognizes responsible anglers who release quality fish. The program is open to all licensed anglers in Minnesota, and includes categories for both adults and youth. Details about this program are available on the Master Angler web page. 

- Jenifer Matthees, DNR Aquatic Education coordinator

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