Maryland and North Dakota reported new state record catches this month.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources confirmed a new white perch nontidal state fishing record was set April 7 by George Venker of Baltimore, a retired Bethlehem Steel worker.
Venker caught a white perch weighing 1.9 pounds at Loch Raven Reservoir in Baltimore County. He said fishes at the reservoir regularly and used a bottom rig and a nightcrawler to bring in his record catch, which measured 14.75 inches in length.
“At first I thought it was a catfish,” Venker said. “I’m really proud. I’m going back to see if I can an even bigger one.”
The catch broke the previous record of 1.6 pounds held by James Stiars of Bel Air (August 2016).
Venker’s record perch was weighed on a certified scale at seafood wholesaler Mr. Fish Inc. in Baltimore. Natural Resources biologist Erik Zlokovitz officially confirmed the species.
The department maintains state records for sport fish in four divisions – Atlantic, Chesapeake, Nontidal and Invasive – and awards plaques to anglers who achieve record catches. Fish caught from privately-owned, fee-fishing waters are not eligible for record consideration.
New State Record Carp
North Dakota Game & Fish said in a news release that Derek Barnick set a state record with his 31-pound, 9-ounce common carp taken from Lake Etta-Alkaline with a bow and arrow.
It’s the first state record broken so far on 2017, according to the news release.
The 36-inch fish broke the old record of 31 pounds taken by Austin Loberg of Thompson from the Sheyenne River in 2003.