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New State Records in Illinois: Shortnose Gar, Freshwater Drum

New State Records in Illinois: Shortnose Gar, Freshwater Drum

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Illinois has two new state records, according to social media postings by the state fisheries agency.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources reported new records for shortnose gar and freshwater drum in the past couple of weeks.

[caption id="attachment_99017" align="aligncenter" width="648"]state records Donald Lawrence with his state-record shortnose gar. (Photo courtesy Illinois DNR)[/caption]

On May 27, Donald Lawrence of St. Louis caught a 6-pound, 15.2-ounce gar out of Horseshoe Lake in Madison County. The previous record was 5 pounds, .96 ounces, caught in 1999 in the Vermilion River.

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Lawrence told the IDNR he purchased his first kayak in 2013, caught a longnose gar soon after and has been hooked into gar fishing ever since.

"Gar are not deserving of the "trash/rough fish" label," he wrote. " They are apex predators and have not changed in millions of years; plus they are a blast to catch!"

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[caption id="attachment_99016" align="alignleft" width="362"]state records Johnathan Inman's state-record hook-and-line freshwater drum broke a 58-year record. (Photo courtesy Illinois DNR)[/caption]

On June 6, the agency posted news of Johnathan Inman's state-record hook-and-line freshwater drum, which weighed 38 pounds, 4 ounces, bettering the 58-year-old record.

The fish was caught on Clinton Lake while Inman was fishing for catfish.


The previous record of 35 pounds was set in 1960.

Conservation Police Sgt. John Williamson witnessed the weighing at Heinkel's Meat Packing in Decatur.

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For information on fishing opportunities in Illinois, go online to

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