Lay the fish on top of or beside a flat measuring ruler. Do not lay the ruler over the curvature of the fish’s body.
Close the fish’s mouth and squeeze the tail lobes together.
Measure from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail to the nearest ¼-inch. See diagram.
If there is an observer, have the observer verify the length and include them in the witness information on the application. You are required to include a picture of the fish being properly measured on all trophy fish applications. The photo must be clear and legible!
Fish certified by length only (no certified weight), do not qualify for “Angler of the Month & Year Awards”.
Certifying Your Fish By Weight:
Take your fish to a store with certified scales or weigh your fish on a personal scale that has been certified by an approved third party. You are required to include a picture of the fish being properly weighed on all trophy fish applications if you want a weight citation. The photo must be clear and legible!
If you are weighing your fish at a store with a certified scale, make sure you collect the scale information as you will need it on the online application. Don’t leave the store before you have the scale make/model, the certification date, and who certified the scale whether it was the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) or another scale certification company.
If you are weighing the fish with a personal scale that has been certified, you will also need to include the scale make and model, certification date, and who calibrated/certified your scale. Many anglers in the Online Angler Recognition Program with personal scales get their scales calibrated/certified on an annual basis by an approved third party such as the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).