At the end of each year I like to look back at the state record fish that were certified; kind of a “state record annual report”. It is time to do that again. . . .
We had 13 different fish certified as state records in 2016.
No fish taken by surface spear-fishing were submitted for state records in 2016.
And then in July things picked up: First was a 1 pound 2 ounce shorthead redhorse sucker taken from a tributary to the Missouri River in Cedar County.
And then a 31 pound 11 ounce muskie was arrowed at Calamus Reservoir.
Tiger trout are a brown trout X brook trout hybrid. On occasion there have been tiger trout caught from northwest Nebraska streams where both parent species were present and those fish hybridized in the wild. Last year our Nebraska state fish hatcheries raised and stocked some tiger trout, and we had a bunch more of those fish present in a number of Nebraska waters. I anticipated that would kick off a “run” in tiger trout state records, and it did. In the bow-fishing category the first was a 5 ounce tiger taken from one of the Wood Reserve Ponds in Sioux County.
That record only stood for two months until a larger tiger trout, a 2 pound 8 ounce fish, was taken from the Sutherland Supply Canal.
Most of the Sutherland Supply Canal was drained last fall for inspections and repairs and at that time, besides the bow-fishing record tiger trout, there was a 15 pound 9 ounce hybrid striped bass (i.e. Wiper) taken there.
We typically do not have a lot of state record activity in the underwater spearfishing category, but we always have some. This year there was one new record certified that was taken by underwater spearfishing. That fish was a 1 pound 4 ounce shorthead redhorse sucker taken from Lake McConaughy.
Rod and Reel
Lastly, we had six new rod & reel records certified in 2016. Those records started coming in early spring, March, and again involved tiger trout. A 1 pound tiger caught from the Two Rivers Trout Lake started things off.
And then eight days later and clear across the state, a 1 pound 3 ounce rod & reel record tiger trout was caught from Rock Creek Lake.
We had some activity in the rod & reel state record category for yellow bullhead this year. The first was caught in April, a 13 ounce yellow bullhead from Lake Wanahoo.
Two months later a much larger yellow bullhead, 2 pounds 4 ounces, was caught from a private pond in Otoe County.
Skipjack herring are not common in Nebraska, not common at all, but there are a few that migrate up our Missouri River. In October, one of those fish, a 2 pound 14 ounce skipjack herring showed up in the Missouri in Cedar County.
Lastly, also in October, there was a 10 ounce grasss pickerel that was certified as a new rod & reel state record. That fish was caught from a borrow pit in Holt County.
Thirteen new state records for a year is very good, 2016 was a good year! I have given no details on any of those fish, kept things to an “annual report” format, but there are more details and stories for several of those fish. Please check out my previous blogs for angler names and more details, State Record Update, May 2016 , State Record Update, August 2016 , State Record Update, Fall 2016 , and State Record Update, Fall 2016, Addendum . Congratulations to all who caught a state record fish in 2016!
You can see a complete list of Nebraska’s record fish HERE. I promise I will get that updated as soon as possible.
Let me add a few short comments. . . .
I had one state record application that was denied this year. It was for a yellow bullhead that was not as large as another application I had received previously. I did however hear several stories of fish that were close to being new state records and stories of some that I have no doubt would have been new state record fish had the angler chosen to have them certified. In most cases when those potential state records were not certified the anglers chose to immediately release the fish, and I applaud them for that!
Every copy of the Fishing Guide includes a state record application form and rules. If you put a line in the water, you never know, your next bite could be a state record fish. Take a couple of minutes to familiarize yourself with the rules.
The new year is already off to a good start. I have a fish that was taken through the ice that will be certified as a new rod & reel state record. Give me a few weeks, let me see if there are any other state record fish caught through the ice this winter, and then I will give you an update on that fish.
I expect 2016 will be a good year. I really have no way to predict what state record fish will be caught this year–I just wait to be surprised. Certainly, I believe the tiger trout record is not going to stand where it is, it certainly could go much higher than what we have seen so far. And who knows what else is lurking beneath the surface???!!!
Good luck, and GO FISH!