Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Record, but what kind of fish???



DNA analysis needed determine state record fish identity

Dru Kinslow, of OKC, caught a state record fish Monday, March 27, but he doesn’t know quite where his name will go in the record book – under smallmouth bass or black bass hybrid. Either way it will be a new state record.

Kinslow caught an 8-pound, 5.6-ounce bass from Veteran’s Lake near Sulphur. When he took the fish to fisheries biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, they immediately recognized it was bigger than either the current smallmouth or the black bass hybrid records. However, the brute had characteristics of both a smallmouth bass, spotted bass and largemouth bass.

“I don’t really care whether it is a smallmouth or a hybrid, I am just happy to catch a fish that big. Never in my life did I think I would catch a state record,” Kinslow said.

Fisheries biologists sent a small fin sample to a DNA lab. The lab report will reveal if the fish is a smallmouth or a black bass hybrid. Black bass hybrids occur rarely in nature when the spawning areas of black bass species overlap.

“It’s certainly unusual. I am very curious to see the lab results,” said Kim Erickson, fisheries chief for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. “Unfortunately, this isn’t an episode of ‘CSI’ and it will likely take several weeks for the technicians to perform the DNA analysis.” DNA results from the lab will be posted on wildlifedepartment.com as soon as they are available.

Kinslow was using a jig and salt craw combo when he hooked the big fish in the clear waters of 67-acre Veteran’s Lake. “I was just trying out different lures to see what might be biting when I hooked the fish,” Kinslow said. “It fought pretty hard and went all the way under the boat. I didn’t realize how big it was until I got it in the boat.” The fish measured 22.75-inches long and was 16.5 inches in girth.

If you think you may have hooked a record fish it is important that you weigh the fish on an Oklahoma State Department of Agriculture certified scale and a Wildlife Department employee verifies the weight.

Editor's Note: Courtesy of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

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