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The Long and Short of It

Just want to mention a couple of friendly reminders in my blog today.  I hear a lot of things from a lot of anglers, and it seems there are always a lot of misconceptions and misinformation. . . .

Total Length

There are a lot of ways to measure fish.  With length limits you WILL need to measure at least some of them.  Pointy-headed fisheries biologists measure what we call total length.  The total length of a fish is measured with the mouth closed and the tail pinched.  Where length limits apply, total length is THE correct measurement, the “official” length of a fish.  There is one exception.  The correct measurement for a paddlefish is from the front of the eye to the fork of the tail.

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The very best way to measure total length is with some type of “bump board”.

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Tape measures, measuring sticks, or marking lengths on net handles or rods can be used for “rough” measurements.  But, if you need an “official” length measurement, it has to be on a bump board, fish on its side, mouth closed, tail lobes pinched.  Measure the longest tip of the tail lobes.

Master Angler Awards

I continue to see a significant percentage of Master Angler applications that are wrong.  Let me make this as simple as possible. . . .

If you keep/harvest a fish, IT MUST MEET THE MINIMUM WEIGHT to qualify for a Master Angler Award.  Minimum weight standards are for fish that are kept.

If you release the fish, WE DO NOT WANT IT WEIGHED!  Minimum length standards are for fish that are caught and immediately released.  Released fish need to be handled as little as possible.  Measure the length, snap a photo, get ’em back in the water (Good, Better, Best).

I see too many Master Angler applications that have weights listed for fish that were caught & released, and lengths, but no weights, for fish that were harvested.  Those are wrong.

The Master Angler rules and an application form can be found in every copy of the Fishing Guide.


About daryl bauer

Daryl is a lifelong resident of Nebraska (except for a couple of years spent going to graduate school in South Dakota). He has been employed as a fisheries biologist for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission for 25 years, and his current tour of duty is as the fisheries outreach program manager. Daryl loves to share his educational knowledge and is an avid multi-species angler. He holds more than 120 Nebraska Master Angler Awards for 14 different species and holds more than 30 In-Fisherman Master Angler Awards for eight different species. He loves to talk fishing and answer questions about fishing in Nebraska, be sure to check out his blog at outdoornebraska.org.

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