Angler Steven DeMars of Stillwater caught, measured, photographed and released a 47-inch flathead catfish in the St. Croix River on May 8, establishing a new record for Minnesota’s expanded catch-and-release records. The fish, 30 inches around, took a bullhead bait an hour before sunset.
The same day, a woman from western Minnesota set the new record for catch-and-release lake sturgeon, in the Rainy River on the Canadian border. The Department of Natural Resources this year expanded the official state records program to include catch-and-release categories for muskellunge, lake sturgeon, and catfish.
“Congratulations to our first two record holders in the record program we expanded this year,” said Mike Kurre, who manages the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ record fish program. “It’s great to see these photos and applications and know there are still chances for other anglers to catch these enormous fish.”
The DNR created the new categories because many anglers no longer wish to kill trophy fish. Anglers can continue to set records based on certified weight, which require the fish to be harvested. Guidelines and application forms for each type of record are available on the record fish page.