Michigan DNR unveils new Master Angler map

Anglers dream of landing the big one. Now they're getting a little help from the state of Michigan in making those dreams come true.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced a new interactive map for its Master Angler program. The online resource provides anglers with important information on where the best fishing catches are across the state and how best to achieve them.

For example:

The record for Lake Sturgeon happened at Mullett Lake in 1974 at 193 pounds and 88 inches, according to the map. The record for Channel Catfish happened at Houghton Lake in 1960 at 40 pounds.

Seth Herbst, Aquatic Species and Regulatory Affairs Unit manager, said the idea comes from a desire to improve accessibility for anglers and support the state's fishing industry.

"We wanted to make this data available to help promote our fisheries throughout the state and we thought that this interactive map would be a great way to promote the fisheries and show others where master angler fish have been caught," Herbst said.

The map provides an update from the program's previous online data query, improving user-friendliness for Michigan anglers. The map's interactive features include the ability to search for catches by location, year, or fish species.

Anglers can submit applications via an online form to have their catch recognized with a Master Angler Patch. The catch must meet a series of criteria to qualify, including following proper guidelines for catching and measuring the fish and submitting a photo of the catch.

The period for Master Angler Patch applications for fish caught between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 remains open until Jan. 10 of the following year.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan maps spots where anglers snagged the biggest fish