N.C. Angler Recognition Program

Anglers who catch trophy-sized fish that do not qualify for a state record can have their fishing feats officially recognized by the Commission through the N.C. Angler Recognition Program (NCARP).  Minimum fish size requirements and details on how to apply are contained in this section.

Anglers who catch a fish that meets or exceeds either weight or length requirements can submit their catch information to the Commission’s Inland Fisheries Division 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.

How to Measure a Fish (PDF)

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



NCARP Minimum Trophy Fish Weight or Length Requirements


Species Minimum Total Weight Minimum Total Inches
Largemouth bass 8 pounds 24 inches
Smallmouth bass 3 pounds 19 inches
Spotted bass 2 pounds 15 inches
Striped bass 10 pounds 27 inches
Bodie bass (striped bass hybrid) 8 pounds 24 inches
White bass 2 pounds 17 inches
White perch 1 pound 12 inches
Bowfin 10 pounds 22 inches
Common carp 20 pounds 34 inches
Catfish – blue 30 pounds 41 inches
Catfish – channel 10 pounds 30 inches
Catfish – flathead 30 pounds 41 inches
Catfish – white 4 pounds 21 inches
Catfish – bullhead (any species)* 2 pounds 15 inches
Crappie (black or white) 2 pounds 16 inches
Freshwater drum* 12 pounds 28 inches
Muskellunge 20 pounds 41 inches
Chain pickerel 4 pounds 26 inches
Redfin pickerel* 10 ounces 12 inches
American shad 3 pounds 16 inches
Hickory shad 2 pounds 13 inches
Bluegill 1 pound 11 inches
Flier 6 ounces 8 inches
Green sunfish 1 pound 9 inches
Pumpkinseed* 14 ounces 10 inches
Redbreast  1 pound 11 inches
Redear  1 pound 11 inches
Roanoke bass 1 pound 11 inches
Rock bass 1 pound 11 inches
Warmouth  1 pound 11 inches
Brook trout (hatchery supported or wild)** 2 pounds 16 inches
Brown trout (hatchery supported or wild)** 2 pounds, 8 ounces 18 inches
Rainbow trout (hatchery supported or wild)** 2 pounds, 8 ounces 18 inches
Kokanee salmon* 2 pounds 14 inches
Walleye 5 pounds** 23 inches
Yellow perch 1 pound 14 inches
Longnose Gar 10 pounds 48 inches

* New species added September 2008
** Species minimum weight and/or length requirement changed