BOWDEN, W.Va. – Gov. Justice announced that Zach Adkins, an avid multi-species angler from Cabins, W.Va., has received the state’s first-ever Master Angler Award on Tuesday.

Adkins was given a plaque for catching 22 fish over a wide range of species and ecosystems during a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Bowden State Fish Hatchery, which had recently completed renovations.

Governor Justice gave Zach Adkins his Master Angler Award at the Bowden State Fish Hatchery (Jim Justice Photo)

“When we announced this exciting new program back in January, we knew it was going to be a game-changer for fishing and here we are today with the proof that West Virginia has some of the best fishing programs and opportunities you can find,” said Gov. Justice. “I want to congratulate Mr. Adkins for being the first to complete this lifetime achievement and to encourage all our anglers to get out there and try and become a West Virginia Master Angler.”

Adkins officially completed the program on West Virginia Day, June 20, 2022.

“I just want to give a big thanks to everyone attached to this new program,” Adkins said. “As a multi-species angler, it’s been a blast checking all the boxes.”

To learn more about the rules of the program and to download an application for the award, visit