The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR or DNR) started a new "Master Angler" program in 2011. There is a list of 40+ fish species and a minimum length requirement. If you catch a fish that meets or exceeds that minimum length, you can submit it for a Master Angler award. You get a certificate and a decal.
Once you catch Master Angler-sized fish of 5 different species, you earn a "Silver Award"...they send you a silver-ish medallion along with that Master Angler certificate (which also says Master Angler Silver on it).
Once you catch Master Angler-sized fish of 10 different species, you earn a "Gold Award"...they send you a gold-ish (or brass-ish or bronze-ish) medallion with that Master Angler certificate (which also says Master Angler Gold on it).
I had 9 different species by the end of last year, so naturally one of my goals this year was to catch a 10th species of a Master Angler qualifying size, in order to earn the Gold Award. As I showed in my previous blog entry, I caught that fish, and it was a 33" Common Carp!
So, now I've received my "Gold Award". Here it is, along with the Silver Award I'd previously earned.
Boom. That just happened. :)
All were caught out of public waters, and 7 of the 10 were caught within city limits of the town I live in! How awesome is that??