They’re getting bigger and bigger. The new record is just four-tenths of a pound heavier than the old mark.
I don’t get excited when someone catches a new state record green sunfish. It’s usually by an ounce or two and that, to me, is no big deal. I mean people have probably caught bigger ones and tossed them back.
But when a new record for a large species of fish comes along, I take notice. That’s what happened on Sept. 24 when Troy Klingler of Stryker, Ohio pulled in a new state record northern pike.
He caught it in McKarns Lake, located in Williams County in northwest Ohio using a Berkley Crazy Legs on a casting rod with 12-pound test monofilament line.
The pike wasn’t much larger than the old record, beating it by four tenths of a pound. The new record is 22.78 pounds, beating out the old record of 22.38 pounds, caught at Lyre Lake by Chris Campbell on October 3, 1988. It was 43 inches long, compared to Klingler’s pike, 45 inches long and 19 inches in girth.
Ohio’s record fish are determined on the basis of weight only. If you catch a fish you think could be a record, you must have it weighed on a certified scale and identified by a fisheries biologist from the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
The state fish records are kept by the Outdoor Writers of Ohio, with assistance from the Division of Wildlife. For more information about the records, visit outdoorwritersofohio.org/current-ohio-record-fish.
Fisheries biologists Bryan Kinter and Ed Lewis from the Division’s District 2 office confirmed the identification of Klingler’s catch as a northern pike.
Another Invader from Ship Ballast
Recently, the EPA announced the discovery of a new, non-native species in the western basin of Lake Erie. The zooplankton, thermocyclops crassus, can be found throughout Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
More than likely, the invader was dumped in the lake from the release of ballast water from a trans-oceanic ship.
That’s the bad news. Efforts have been ongoing by government agencies to keep the Great Lakes free of any species non-native to those waters. Despite those efforts, species like zebra and quagga mussels have been accidentally introduced. The round goby is another, along with white perch and sea lampreys. And when you are talking about microscopic invaders, there are too many to mention.
The good news is this latest invader has so far not been a threat to the eco-system. Thermocyclops crassus was first discovered in Lake Champlain in 1991 and has not posed any threat during its 25-year stay.
What is bothering Great Lakes guardians the most is the way the species was introduced to the lake.
“This new discovery is serious and troubling and underscores how U.S. waters, communities and businesses remain vulnerable to harmful aquatic invasive species dumped here by foreign ships. The EPA needs to act with urgency to carry out its duty to protect the Great Lakes and U.S. waters from ballast water invaders,” said Marc Smith, policy director for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center.
Unfortunately, the ultimate control of ballast water laws lies with Congress. And we all know how that goes ….
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