Master Angler Awards Program|
Turns the Big 5-0
For 50 years, anglers have been recognized for their abilities and achievements through the Master Angler Awards Program. To commemorate this milestone anniversary, a special pin will be awarded to each angler who registers a qualifying trophy fish with the program in 2010.
The program was originally initiated by the Neepawa Game and Fish Association and at the time recognized three species of fish. It was an instant success and in 1960, the association approached the Department of Tourism to take over the Master Angler Awards program as it is known today. The first badges and certificates were issued to 480 anglers catching trophy fish of seven different species.
Until 1985 the Master Angler Awards program was administered manually when continued growth prompted computerization with the first automated awards issued in 1987. Today, the Master Angle program recognizes 30 species and has registered over 200,000 trophy fish – approximately 10,000 fish a year with a record 13,077 entries in 2003.
This highly visible program is unique to Manitoba. It promotes conservation and responsible management of a renewable resource through its “catch and release” initiative. Approximately 90% of the entries registered in the program are released by anglers. The program serves not only as an educational and conservation tool, but also as a high profile and positive marketing tool for Manitoba’s world-class sport fishery. Anglers from across the continent come to Manitoba for some best sport fishing in North America.
Introducing Master Angler Merchandise
As the Master Angler Awards program has grown in popularity and prestige over the last 50 years, Travel Manitoba is launching a line of Master Angler merchandise, giving anglers another way to proudly display their achievements.
All merchandise, which includes fleece, leather and nylon jackets, hats and a variety of shirts display the Master Angler crest and are available for purchase online at www.masteranglergear.com. Proceeds from the merchandise sales will be invested back into the Master Angler program.
The merchandise is categorized into three different groups – the first is products that will be available to the general public, the second group includes exclusive products that will only be available to those with official Master Angler certification, the third group will consist of co-branded items with Manitoba’s lodges and outfitters.
One of the special items only available to Master Anglers is an etched glass trophy – a “brag piece” that is easy to display on an office shelf. Also creating buzz are clothing items in “fishoflage”, which takes its cues from camouflage, but with an angler identity.
With the Master Angler Awards program celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010, now is the perfect time to get your Master Angler gear. Go to www.masteranglergear.com to make your purchase!