N.C. Angler Recognition Program

Anglers who catch trophy-sized fish that do not qualify for a freshwater fishing state record can have their catch officially recognized by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission through its N.C. Angler Recognition Program (NCARP). If a fish meets or exceeds EITHER weight or length requirements, anglers can submit their catch information in exchange for a certificate of recognition featuring a color reproduction of the fish species by renowned wildlife artist Duane Raver.

Anglers who collect six NCARP certificates receive a Master Angler certificate and patch. Because either lengths or weights can be used to certify fish as NCARP-eligible trophy fish, anglers can practice catch-and-release with their fish.

Apply for an NCARP certificate by completing an NCARP application.

Applications are also available at many bait and tackle shops, sporting good stores and other Wildlife Service Agent locations and in the North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest. A $5 fee with each application covers costs associated with the program.

Youth age 15 and younger can apply for a Youth NCARP certificate for any of the fish species listed below. Minimum length and weight requirements are waived.

For more information about NCARP, call (919) 707-0220.


NCARP Minimum Trophy Fish Weight or Length Requirements

Species Min. Weight Min. Length
Largemouth Bass 8 lbs 24 in
Smallmouth Bass 3 lbs 19 in
Spotted Bass 2 lbs 15 in
Striped Bass 10 lbs 27 in
Bodie Bass (hybrid striped bass) 8 lbs 24 in
White Bass 2 lbs 17 in
White Perch  1 lb 12 in
Bowfin 10 lbs 22 in
Common Carp 20 lbs 34 in
Blue Catfish 30 lbs 41 in
Channel Catfish 10 lbs 30 in
Flathead Catfish 30 lbs 41 in
White Catfish 4 lbs 21 in
Bullhead Catfish (any species) 2 lbs 15 in
Crappie (black or white)  2 lbs 16 in
Freshwater Drum 12 lbs 28 in
Muskellunge 20 lbs 41 in
Chain pickerel 4 lbs 26 in
Redfin pickerel 10 oz 12 in
American Shad 3 lbs 16 in
Hickory Shad 2 lbs 13 in
Bluegill 1 lb 11 in
Flier 6 oz 8 in
Green Sunfish 1 lb 9 in
Pumpkinseed 14 oz 10 in
Redbreast 1 lb 11 in
Redear (shellcracker) 1 lb 11 in
Roanoke Bass 1 lb 11 in
Rock Bass 1 lb 11 in
Warmouth 1 lb 11 in
Brook Trout (hatchery supported or wild) 2 lbs 16 in
Brown Trout (hatchery supported or wild) 2 lbs; 8 oz 18 in
Rainbow Trout (hatchery supported or wild) 2 lbs; 8 oz 18 in
Kokanee Salmon 2 lbs 14 in
Walleye 5 lbs 23 in
Yellow Perch 1 lb 14 in
Longnose Gar 10 lbs 48 in

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