Tennessee Angler Recognition Program
The Tennessee Angler Recognition Program (TARP) gives anglers an opportunity to have their trophy fish recognized by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). Anglers of any age, who catch any of the 27 qualifying fish species and lengths may apply. See "Qualifying Lengths and Species" chart below.
The TWRA Fisheries Management Division sends those accomplished anglers certificates featuring color ©copyrighted reproductions of fish artwork by renowned wildlife artist Joseph R. Tomelleri. You can view and purchase Tomelleri's artwork by visiting his website at http://www.americanfishes.com/
The program is designed to acknowledge anglers for outstanding sport fishing accomplishments, encourage catch-and-release of trophy size fish, and provide the TWRA with information on large fish caught throughout the state.
TARP should not be confused with the Tennessee State Record Fish program that recognizes anglers who catch a new state record fish (largest fish recorded, by weight, for that species in the state.) Instead, TARP recognizes anglers who catch trophy-size fish, by length, that are not necessarily state records. If you believe your catch exceeds the current state record for that species, you should immediately contact a TWRA Fisheries Biologist for positive identification of the fish and the appropriate application.
TARP features six levels of angler recognition.
- Any angler catching one of any of the 27 qualifying fish species that meets or exceeds the minimum "trophy" length requirements (see chart below), will receive a Trophy Fish Certificate, depicting the species.
- Anglers submitting five (5) fish species in any combination receive a Master Angler level I certificate and patch at no cost (See examples below).
- Anglers submitting five trophy size fish of different species receive a Master Angler level II certificate and patch.
- The Master Angler III level will be awarded to anglers submitting ten different trophy species. In addition to a certificate and patch, the angler will receive a "tackle package" courtesy of Bass Pro Shops-Kodak, Tennessee.
5. The Master Angler IV certificate will be awarded to anglers submitting fifteen different trophy species. The award will consist of a certificate, patch, and a trophy.
6. The newest level, Master Angler V, will be awarded to anglers submitting twenty different trophy fish, and will receive a certificate, patch, and engraved plaque.
How Do You Qualify?
- The fish must meet or exceed the minimum lengths listed in the table on this page (Qualifying Lengths and Species)
- Persons 13 years of age or older must be licensed anglers and must provide their license number (TWRA#) on the application.
- The fish must be caught legally (in accordance with Tennessee Sportfishing Regulations) in Tennessee waters, by sportfishing methods only (rod and reel or cane pole).
- The length of the fish must be verified by either a witness or a photograph. The witness must complete the section on the application and/or the photo must be of the fish lying flat on top of or beside a flat measuring rule or tape and included with the application. Note that photographs of the angler holding their catch may be used in TWRA publications, including the Agency's website.
How Do You Apply
An application form may be obtained by clicking this link (Adobe Acrobat Reader required) or by contacting the TWRA Fisheries Management Division at (615) 781-6575. Complete one application for each fish you are registering. You may include more than one application form per envelope. If the fish length is being verified by photo, the picture must be enclosed with the application. For each Trophy Fish application, a $5.00 processing fee, must be enclosed and mailed within 90 days from the date of catch. Make check or money order payable to TWRA and mail, with the application(s), to the address at the bottom of the application. The processing fee is non-refundable for non-qualifying applications.