ALBANY -- The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced its annual Angler Achievement Awards on Thursday.
And holy mackerel, there was some big fish caught in New York in 2016.
The state takes entries for the largest fish caught each year, and it received more than 130 applications last year for various categories.
For example, largemouth bass and smallmouth bass, New York’s most popular sportfish species, made up more than half of the entries in the "Catch and Release" category, the DEC said.
“Few states can compete with New York in terms of the quality and diversity of fish found in our waters, and I am pleased that we can acknowledge the achievements of these skillful anglers,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said in a statement.
Two state records were either established or tied in 2016, the state said.
A state record freshwater drum was caught on Lake Champlain on June 4: a 29 lbs. 14 oz. one.
Meanwhile, a smallmouth bass caught on the St. Lawrence River in August tied a record set 21 years ago in Lake Erie: at 8 lb. 4 oz, the state said.
Other big catches included: a 30 lb. 1 oz. tiger muskellunge caught from Lake Como in Cayuga County; a 35½ inch steelhead caught from the Salmon River in Oswego County; and a 38¼ inch lake trout caught and released from Lake Erie in Chautauqua County.
The DEC said its award program aims to recognize anglers who catch any of the "43 eligible fish species that exceed minimum qualifying lengths or weights."
The three categories are: Catch & Release, Annual Award (kept fish) and state Record.
The winners get a lapel pin, and state record holders get a plaque.
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