IGFA introduces new catch-and-release length record category for 127 species
The International Game Fish Assn. has added a new category to its world records section beginning in 2011 for catch-and-release anglers.
Based on length rather than weight, the new IGFA all-tackle length record category will make 60 freshwater and 67 saltwater species eligible for new world records while requiring the fish to be returned to the water alive after measurement. The new record category will begin accepting applications on Jan. 1.
"The new all-tackle length record category is another great means of recognizing angler achievement and also has a strong conservation message," said IGFA world records coordinator Jack Vitek. "While the IGFA does not require a fish to be killed for traditional weight category records, and many fish are indeed released alive, this is the first IGFA record category to adopt an all-release format."
Vitek added that with no need to return to the docks to weigh a catch, anglers pursuing a length record will utilize a standard measuring device, available for purchase now on the IGFA website and soon through several major fishing tackle retailers, to record the length of their catch. According to the official IGFA rules and requirements for all-tackle length records, the fish "must be measured at the site of capture and released so that it swims away on its own and in good condition."
To facilitate healthy release, fish entered for length records are prohibited from also being submitted for traditional weight records.
"Catch and release fishing is becoming increasingly popular worldwide," said IGFA conservation director Jason Schratwieser. "We know recreational anglers are passionate about conservation, and this new record category reflects their dedication to conserving game fish."
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: A mutton snapper that was caught, measured on the new IGFA scale and released. Credit: IGFA