Induction Rules & Regulations

Important Note: The act of catching fish alone is not sufficient to qualify for induction.
Game and/or fishing law violation conviction(s) may result in disqualification.

Definitions Induction Criteria

Considered are persons who have had a lasting National or World impact to the benefit of fresh water sportfishing.

Considered are persons who have had at least regional achievement in their endeavors to have a lasting impact to benefit fresh water sportfishing.

Considered are persons who have developed a unique communication means or avenue which was instrumental in introducing fishing to the public or in maintaining public interest or awareness.

Considered are persons who have gained, by their expertise and professionalism, a status of credibility and immortality judged so by their customers, the region and/or their peers.

Considered are persons whose creations introduce,  encourage or inspire the enjoyment of fresh water fishing on a local, regional or national level.

Considered are organizations or government entities which have demonstrated and/or performed a valuable service or act to benefit fresh water sportfishing within its jurisdiction or the boundaries of its organization whether local, regional or national.

Recognizes individuals, groups, or organizations for their programs benefiting fresh water angling which clearly are not covered by other recognition criteria.

Rules and Guidelines

Read carefully . . . All nominations must be submitted on official forms. Nominations made verbally, or by note or letter, will not be considered.

Important: The Hall's national volunteer Awards Committee is not in a position to enter into extensive research about a candidate or search for his/her photos for publicity or display. This process is the responsibility of the nominator.

Incomplete nominations will be shelved.

  • A digital color (preferred) photo of the candidate must be submitted. Either a portrait or an "action" shot is acceptable.
  • Submit a brief biography of the candidate. Extensive information encompassing a candidate's personal life or a list of academic achievements (unless applicable) is not a criteria for consideration.
  • Submit a resume of the candidate's achievements and reasons why he/she deserves recognition because such candidate has accomplished or achieved what has or will benefit the sport of fresh water fishing, its fraternity or related fields, or the industry.
  • Achievement in fields of endeavor other than in the sport of angling or its related fields will be disregarded and not considered.

Submissions Checklist

Have you sent?
  • Page 1 - Form - Vital Statistics
  • Photo
  • Brief Biography
  • Resume of outstanding accomplishments
  • Any additional supporting information, testimonials, or samples for file. (Send photocopies rather than
  • originals - no returns.)

The Process Defined

A lengthy or bulky nomination package is not insurance or guarantee of closer or more intense consideration by the electors.

Basically, three nomination pieces -- vital statistics, biography and resume are reviewed for eligibility and possible change of induction category.

The national committee of electors, consisting of persons from the fresh water sportfishing industry, represents the nation's outstanding and knowledgeable communicators, biologists, educators, as well as representatives of the fishing sector, fisheries sciences, and conservation. At the annual meeting, the electors evaluate and act on the nomination information/package. The three-day session ultimately results in secret balloting of dozens of candidates. Only a few garner enough votes for induction.

Unsuccessful candidates remain in the mix for future years' consideration for up to five years.

Public release of inductees is announced in October for the following year. At such time nominators may inquire how their candidate fared.

Deadline for nomination applications is July 1, to be acted upon for the next year's induction honors.

Suitable plaque awards are awarded by various venues of presentation to inductees. A photo and bio each of inductee is displayed in our Hall of Recognition. The decisions of the Awards Committee shall be final.

Recognition Criteria

Individuals and organizations are recognized for outstanding achievements in fishing, science, education, conservation, communications, technology, or other areas related to fresh water sportfishing.

Consideration includes:

  • Conduct which exemplifies high moral and ethical standards consonant with the purposes of the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame.
  • Respect for the broad spectrum of interests of fresh water sportfishing.
  • Activities which serve as motivation to others and which reflect the honor and dignity of fresh water sportfishing.
  • Activities that reflect respect for and devotion to fresh water sportfishing, rather than the fulfillment of a need for personal aggrandizement or fame.
  • Recognized as a pioneer in an essential aspect of fresh water sportfishing. Contributed a lasting and significant national or international impact to the benefit of fresh water sportfishing.
  • Recognized for excellence and innovation of contributions to fresh water sportfishing.
  • Magnitude or importance of endeavors stand out among contemporaries as being avant-garde, unparalleled, unprecedented, transcendent, and served as an inspiration to others.
  • Recognized for contributions which are singular and distinct, without which some critical aspect of fresh water sportfishing, as it is currently known, would likely not have existed.
  • Performed a lasting achievement of regional impact in fresh water sportfishing.
  • Demonstrated skills or provided efforts which stand out among other anglers or others who contributed to the advancement of fresh water sportfishing.
  • Enhanced the enjoyment of fresh water sportfishing for others through development of techniques or technologies or contributions to fresh water sportfishing.
  • Provided energy, talent, and dedication which promote and/or benefit fresh water sportfishing.
  • Has performed a lasting achievement of at least a regional impact in communication of fresh water sportfishing topics.
  • Has promoted fresh water sportfishing to the public, in general, through effective communication through writing, radio, and/or television broadcasting, photography, video productions, etc.
  • Has greatly influenced other communicators and has served as a model exemplar to encourage ethical and responsible public communication activities.
  • Has introduced youngsters and adults to the sport of fresh water fishing through effective communication skills. Provided energies, talents, support, and dedication to promote and/or benefit fresh water sportfishing.
  • Has developed a unique communication means or avenue which was instrumental in introducing fishing to the public or in maintaining public interest or awareness.
  • Was instrumental in publicizing a cause to the public, where the cause was critical and helpful in advancing fishing or conservation interests.
  • Through expertise and professionalism, gained a status of credibility and immortality judged by clients, the region, and/or peers.
  • Maintained a large part of his or her livelihood by fresh water sportfishing guiding. Demonstrated his or her all-around skills and long-term success in the guiding business, and has served and influenced multiple generations of anglers.
  • Does not "compete" with clients. Treats clients with patience, respect and dignity.
  • Made a significant personal and lasting contribution to the guiding profession, as well as to fresh water sportfishing, and may have introduced some new concept.
  • Has always demonstrated the utmost respect for on the-water safety and comfort of clients.
  • Demonstrated consistency in putting clients on fish and keeping clients in the best possible position to catch fish.
  • Extensively studies the waters he or she fishes. Has an educational reputation.
  • Recognizes those artists and photographers, etc., whose works are characterized by scenes, sculptures and creations which depict fresh water fishes, fresh water sportfishing, fishing tackle and equipment.
  • Creations which introduce, encourage or inspire the enjoyment of fresh water sportfishing.
  • Creations which reflect traditional rewards enjoyed through the sport of fresh water fishing.
  • Creations which reflect the art, function and/or form of fresh water sportfishing.
  • Creations which reflect the natural beauty and encourage the preservation and protection of fresh water sportfishing.
  • An agency or organization that has demonstrated and/or performed a valuable service or act to benefit fresh water sportfishing within its jurisdiction or the boundaries of its organization whether local, state, regional, national or international.
  • To be recognized, the organization or governmental agency must have a proven track record. There must be long-term action, participation, benefits, etc., for fisheries and/or fresh water sportfishing for many years.
  • Provides recognition opportunities for actions of individuals, groups, or organizations which have clearly benefitted fisheries or fresh water sportfishing, where such actions do not clearly fall into other specific recognition categories.
  • Individuals or organizations who "take special risks" or who take stands or make decisions which may have been politically unpopular at the time, but which eventually are shown to have been prudent and have produced positive results for fisheries and/or fresh water sportfishing, may also be recognized in this category.
  • To be recognized, the individuals or organizations must have a proven track record with long-term benefits for fisheries and/or fresh water sportfishing.

The Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame was founded in 1960 and was incorporated in 1970 as a non-profit 501(c)3 as defined by the Internal Revenue Service tax code. All contibutions to the Hall are tax exempt to the full extent of the law.

For Recognition In The Fresh Water Fishing Hall Of Fame