South Dakota family upset after officials nix great-grandfather’s 70-year catfish record


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Members of 1 South Dakota household are talking out towards wildlife officers, because the state’s Division of Recreation, Fish and Parks has voided a 70-year-old catfish file held by their late patriarch.

On Could 18, 1949, Ray Groves caught a 55-pound fish within the James River, the Argus Chief reviews, hailed on the time – and for the subsequent seven many years – as the most important channel catfish ever nabbed within the Mount Rushmore State.

Groves’ descendants have been shocked to be taught on Friday that the standing, which had been South Dakota’s oldest state fish file so far, can be nixed. Reps for division introduced that they consider the angler had, in actual fact, caught a blue catfish.


An illustration of a channel catfish (otherwise known as the ictalurus punctatus). 

An illustration of a channel catfish (in any other case generally known as the ictalurus punctatus). 
(Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG by way of Getty)

The information adopted an “casual ballot” from State Fisheries Program Administrator, Geno Adams, who despatched a photograph of Groves together with his prize catch to specialists in fish identification and South Dakota State College fisheries professors, the Related Press reviews. Unanimously, the specialists agreed the creature was a blue catfish.

For context, variations between the channel catfish and blue catfish will be delicate; a main variance being whether or not a fin on the underside of the catfish is flat or curved.

Now, Groves’ relations are blasting the division for the way in which they dealt with each the investigation and the decree.

The fisherman’s great-grandson, James Labesky, instructed the Chief that his mom and his grandfather had shared tales about Groves’ fishing exploits, however he had by no means heard concerning the file being disputed.

“Looks like they’re simply taking a look at an image of it and exhibiting it to some fish specialists,” Labesky mentioned.

“The South Dakota Recreation, Fish and Parks is taking away my nice grandfather’s state file away as a result of they don’t suppose by taking a look at an image it’s a channel catfish … I’d suppose he would know the distinction!” he additionally wrote on Fb.


Groves’ granddaughter Geri Rasmussen, too, lamented that the outside useful resource and recreation company introduced the information so publically – by a information article – with out contacting the household first.

“They might have tell us,” Rasmussen instructed the Chief. “I simply suppose it was dealt with very poorly. He was at all times so happy with what number of hours he spent pulling all these fish in.”

Adams, in the meantime, mentioned that he understands why Groves’ household could also be pissed off, however that officers intend to stay to the edict.

"We don't look at this lightly. We understand this is a big deal to a large amount of people,” State Fisheries Program Administrator Geno Adams said of the news. 

“We do not take a look at this frivolously. We perceive this can be a large deal to a considerable amount of individuals,” State Fisheries Program Administrator Geno Adams mentioned of the information. 
(South Dakota Recreation, Fish and Parks)

“There’s simply loads of info that does not line as much as make channel catfish,” Adams mentioned. “And in the previous couple of years it simply turned overwhelming.”

“We do not take a look at this frivolously. We perceive this can be a large deal to a considerable amount of individuals,” he added.


As famous by the Chief, information for channel catfish in neighboring states are a lot decrease than Groves’ catch, resembling Iowa (38 kilos, two ounces), Nebraska (41 kilos, eight ounces) and North Dakota (41 kilos, one ounce).

Shifting ahead, reps for the state Recreation, Fish and Parks division have dubbed the hunt for a brand new channel catfish file “Catrush 2019.” They anticipate the mark to be damaged a number of instances over the subsequent few weeks.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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