Idaho Man’s Record Catfish a Rare Catch
MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (KLIX)-A record catch at a Southern Idaho reservoir turns out to be a rare one. Paul Newman and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game were stumped for a bit after the man had caught a record-size catfish at C.J. Strike Reservoir they originally thought was a channel catfish. After further examination of the photo, it turns out the fish was indeed a state record, but it was a blue catfish, a rare species in Idaho. Newman had been fishing for sturgeon on July 20, instead he hooked the massive catfish. He recorded the size and weight then released it before submitting the information and photo to Idaho Fish and Game. At first biologist determined the fish was a channel catfish from the picture and awarded the record to Newman. Officials say the two species are very similar and distinguishing the two apart is difficult without physical examination. Eventually it was confirmed to be a blue catfish and handed out the first ever state record for the species at 37 pounds. Idaho Fish and Game looked back into its stocking records because blue catfish are not native to Idaho and haven't been stocked in recent years; channel catfish, also a non-native species, are regularly stocked in the state from farms. Blue catfish haven't been stocked in Idaho waters since the mid-1980s. Idaho Fish and Game speculates that it is possible that some of the species might have escaped fish farms along the Snake River that raise them or some of them might of gotten mixed up with channel catfish at the farms used for stocking. The current record for catch and release channel catfish will remain at 32.9 pounds, also caught at C.J. Strike by Cody Kastner.