South Dakota Welcomes New Paddlefish Record

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Earlier this week South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks (GFP) confirmed that a 127-pound, nine-ounce paddlefish caught on May 7 is now the new state record. Bill Harmon broke a 35-year-old record when he snagged the massive fish in Lake Francis Case, just behind Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River. The fish did not come without a fight—Harmon and his fishing partner, Justin Bryan, were repulsed the first few times they tried pulling the fish out of the water.

“On the fourth try we decided it was going to take both of us to stabilize her before trying to load her,” Harmon told GrindTV. “When she surfaced again, I set down the rod and got one hand on her lower jaw. Then the hook came completely out. Justin got her by the jaw. We moved her away from the boat as far as we could reach, leaned back, and pulled her into the boat.”

Paddlefish are among the largest freshwater fish in the Missouri River and can pack a wallop. There are only two living species of paddlefish still in existence—the Chinese paddlefish and the American paddlefish—and both are in decline. The construction of dams and other structures had a large negative effect on the species and greatly reduced their spawning habitat. It is believed that the Chinese paddlefish may actually be extinct.

Read full story here

Source: Outdoor Hub

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