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The purpose of this program is to recognize anglers who have managed to catch a fish of a qualifying species that meets either length or weight criteria.
While the Fish Ohio program (and numerous others throughout the nation) offer qualification based exclusively off of length, West Virginia’s trophy fish certification gives anglers the opportunity to qualify via either meeting or exceeding weight or length minimums.
While inclusion in this program will take even savvy anglers a degree of patience and skill, the good news is that West Virginia has a plethora of lake, creeks, and rivers where these fish can be legally pulled from.
If you are looking for a great destination to land a potential trophy fish, we recommend taking a look at our list of the Best Fishing Lakes in West Virginia.
Also, to qualify for the program, you must have a valid West Virginia fishing license.
How to Qualify for the West Virginia Fish Citation Program
As we mentioned above, anglers must catch a fish of a qualifying species (currently 27 species in total) that meet either length or weight requirements.
According to the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, the following criteria must be met:
- Only fish that are obtain via rod and reel retrieval by a licensed West Virginia angler
- A fish must meet or exceed either the length or weight minimums (no additional certification will be given for fish that meet or exceed both criteria, however)
- Weight: For qualifying fish based upon weight, the scale must either be certified by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources or at an office of the West Virginia Wildlife Resources Section. A witness must be present for the weighing and sign the official application form.
- Length: For qualifying fish based upon length, a witness must also be present (and will be required to sign the application form). A side-profile photo of the fish (measured from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail) will also be required for submission.
- Applications will need to submitted within sixty days of the catch to qualify
- Non-residents who hold a valid West Virginia fishing license are eligible
To submit your qualifying catch, anglers can download the application form below and send it to the address listed at the bottom of the form.
Qualifying Species and Sizes (in Weight and Length)
As of this posting, twenty-seven species native to the Mountain State can qualifying for West Virginia’s trophy citation.
The minimum sizes are:
|Largemouth Bass||5 pounds||21 inches|
|Smallmouth Bass||4 pounds||20 inches|
|Spotted Bass||1.5 pounds||14 inches|
|Rock Bass||1 pound||11 inches|
|Striped Bass||7 pounds||25 inches|
|Hybrid Striped Bass||7 pounds||24 inches|
|Brook Trout||1.5 pounds||15 inches|
|Brown Trout||4 pounds||21 inches|
|Rainbow Trout||4 pounds||21 inches|
|Golden Trout||4 pounds||21 inches|
|Crappie||1.5 pounds||15 inches|
|Sunfish||1 pound||10 inches|
|White Bass||2 pounds||15 inches|
|Musky||15 pounds||40 inches|
|Tiger Musky||15 pounds||40 inches|
|Chain Pickerel||2 pounds||20 inches|
|Northern Pike||8 pounds||32 inches|
|Yellow Perch||1 pound||13 inches|
|Channel Catfish||6 pounds||25 inches|
|Flathead Catfish||10 pounds||29 inches|
|Bullhead Catfish||2 pounds||16 inches|
|Blue Catfish||10 pounds||29 inches|
|Fallfish||2 pounds||18 inches|
|Freshwater Drum||10 pounds||27 inches|
|Carp||15 pounds||31 inches|
|Walleye||5 pounds||25 inches|
|Sauger||1.5 pounds||17 inches|