The State of Alabama is blessed with an abundance of freshwater fishing opportunities, including some of the best sportfishing in the country. Alabama has over a dozen river systems which have been impounded to create 563,000 acres of public reservoirs, including 1,438 miles of navigable waterways. In addition, there are 23 state managed State Public Fishing Lakes and 150,000 acres of private ponds that provide excellent angling for many species of fish.
The Angler Recognition Program addresses four separate objectives. The first goal is to help promote fishing in Alabama by establishing a method to publicly recognize anglers who catch large or trophy-sized fish from Alabama waters. Secondly, it will provide Fisheries Section biologists with valuable catch information for following fishery trends in the reservoirs they manage. The third objective is to establish a system for maintaining lake records for many of Alabama’s sportfish species. Finally, it will allow anglers an opportunity to have their catch information compiled, analyzed, and reported to them to help them discover when, where, and on what types of lures big fish are caught.
The freshwater sport fish caught in Alabama by hook and line have been listed by the Alabama Department of Conservation. The list includes fish since the 1950s. The certification process includes two witnesses of the weighing on certified scales; species identification by a state fisheries biologist or certified fisheries biologist; and a side-view photograph. Applications and rules are available as a PDF.