State honors saltwater anglers

In this file photo, the Derby junior first-place fishermen, from left: Dylan Kadison (boat, false albacore), Seamus McKeon (boat, blue), Riley Cameron (shore. striped bass), Mason Warburton (boat, striped bass), Zak Potter (boat, bonito) and Westley Wlodyka (shore, albie). —Ralph Stewart

State fisheries officials presented 34 trophies to winners of the 2016 Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby. Four of the awards went to Vineyard fishermen.

Dylan Kadison, in the junior division, won for a false albacore weighing 11 lb., 13 oz. Bill Potter of Vineyard Haven, in the men’s division, won for a king mackerel of 6 lb., 14 oz. Stever Dowler, also in the men’s division and also from Vineyard Haven, won for a yellowfin tuna of 92 lb. Beverly Bergeron of West Tisbury, in the women’s division, won for a 2 lb., 13 oz. scup.

Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Commissioner George Peterson, Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) Director David Pierce and DMF Assistant Director for Recreational Fisheries Mike Armstrong presented the awards Saturday at the New England Boat Show at the Boston Convention and Exposition Center.

“Recreational saltwater anglers support Massachusetts’ valuable tourism economy and, through saltwater fishing permits, the management and conservation of our marine resources,” Gov. Charlie Baker said in a press statement. “Our administration is proud to honor these anglers, and we encourage residents of all ages to get out on the open water and participate in this year’s Saltwater Fishing Derby.”

“The Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby is a great way to encourage people to enjoy the tremendous fishing that the Massachusetts marine environment provides,” Mr. Peterson added. “Congratulations to all the skilled anglers for their dedication to fishing and their accomplishment in making these remarkable catches.”

DMF’s Saltwater Fishing Derby awards pins to all qualifying entries in 21 species categories, and presents trophies to anglers who landed the heaviest fish in each species category. Winners are chosen in three divisions: men, women and juniors (age 15 and younger). There were a total of 78 entries from anglers living in eight states in 2016. The annual Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby runs from Jan. 1 through Nov. 30, and is free to enter. Each derby has its own set of rules and target species. Entries must be caught by hook and line, and weighed in at DMF-certified weigh stations.