Earlier this month, angler Micheal John Drake hooked an enormous blue catfish whereas casting reduce shad within the Ohio River, about an hour northwest of Charleston, West Virginia. In response to the West Virginia Division of Pure Sources (WVDNR), the massive blue cat tipped official scales at 69.45 kilos, edging out the earlier weight document by 36 ounces.

Drake—a resident of the close by city of St. Albans—launched the fish after WVDNR hatchery supervisor Ryan Bosserman got here out to document its weight and size for the document books. Bosserman taped it out at 50.51 inches, simply shy of the present size document of fifty.7 inches. That fish was caught by Steven Worth within the Kanawah River in Might 2022. Worth’s blue cat weighed 67 kilos.

In response to a current press launch, Drake was fishing the Ohio from his boat, just under the R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam, when he hauled the record-breaking catfish aboard. Blue catfish are native to the Ohio River watershed, and their indigenous vary extends as far west because the Rio Grande Basin.

On the East Coast, blue catfish are thought of an invasive species. Within the Seventies and 80s, blue catfish had been deliberately stocked in non-native waterways for leisure fishing functions. Now they’re recognized to feed on and outcompete the native species in a few of these fisheries. They even thrive in coastal waters, just like the Chesapeake Bay, the place they’ll wreak havoc on blue crab, striped bass, shad, herring, and Atlantic sturgeon populations.

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On its web site, WVDNR says that “current stocking efforts have seemingly contributed to the institution of fishable populations throughout the West Virginia parts of Ohio River.” These efforts started in 2004, and the state has logged a brand new document for the species nearly yearly ever since. WVDNR advises anglers in quest of blue cats to fish flowing water our bodies with streambeds comprised of cobble, bedrock, boulders, or sand. “Blue catfish usually inhabit open water,” the company states, “and they’re thought to keep away from backwater areas and slow-moving water with closely silted bottoms.”

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