PIERRE — South Dakota fisheries biologists are voiding the state’s oldest record fish, a channel catfish caught by Roy Groves in 1949. The record will be opened due to a seventy year old fish misidentification.

Geno Adams, Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) fisheries program administrator, made the announcement today on the department’s Facebook page.

“Ever since I started working for GFP, anglers have believed it was not a channel catfish ,many of my colleagues have seen that picture and have quickly said that Mr. Groves’ fish is a blue catfish,” Adams said. ”I sent the picture to two South Dakota State University fisheries professors and fish identification experts, and both agreed. We feel that, while this is a great fish and a great story, it is time to open the channel catfish category and start fresh.”

GFP announced they have begun “Catrush 2019”, a social media push to increase angler interest in catfish, which are abundant and underutilized in South Dakota. It’s also designed to make anglers aware of the proud angler and state record fish platforms that now provide anglers with detailed information on all proud angler fish caught in South Dakota as well as current and past state record fish.

“Currently the state record channel catfish doesn’t exist. Our hope is that people target channel catfish and we have the state record broken multiple times in the next few weeks,” Adams said. “I will go through the state record applications by the date and time the applications were submitted. We will be keeping the public informed through our Facebook page and our state record fish webpage. We think it will be a fun way to create interest in catfishing.”

Anglers who suspect they have a state record fish are required to follow department guidelines, found at: gfp.sd.gov/state-record-fish/.

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