Saturday, January 28th, 2023
Saturday, January 28th, 2023

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In New York, channel cat, freshwater drum records shattered

Albany — New York anglers landed a pair of new state record fish last year, as well as numerous other noteworthy catches, DEC officials said.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said the catches recorded in the state’s Angler Achievement Awards program “are a prime example of the high quality and diverse fish found in New York’s waters. I’m proud to honor these remarkable achievements and record catches and congratulate our state’s skillful anglers.”

State record catches last year were landed by Eric Scordo, who caught a 35-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish while fishing in Lake Ontario (Jefferson County) on April 29, and Jason Bair, who caught a 36-pound freshwater drum while fishing Oneida Lake (Oneida County) on June 16.

Other notable catches included a 39-inch lake trout caught and released from Lake Erie (Chautauqua County); a 7-pound, 10-ounce largemouth bass caught from Loch Sheldrake Lake (Sullivan County); and a 58-inch muskellunge caught and released from the St. Lawrence River (Jefferson County).

DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program continues to gain popularity with New York anglers, Seggos said. The program recognizes anglers who catch freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria.

In addition to the official recognition of their catch, anglers receive a lapel pin commemorating their achievement.

The program’s three categories are: Catch & Release, Annual Award (for fish kept by the angler), and State Record.

“With 43 eligible fish species, the possibilities for anglers of all skill levels to participate are endless,” DEC officials said in a news release. “In addition to providing deserved recognition to those anglers catching trophy fish, the program provides a useful snapshot of the quality of the state’s freshwater fishery.”

In 2017, 150 entries were submitted with more than 80 percent qualified under the Catch and Release Category. DEC officials said that was an indicator of “the sound stewardship ethic of New York’s anglers.”

New York’s most popular sport fish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, comprised the bulk of the submissions.

Forty-five of New York’s 62 counties were represented in entries submitted last year.

Further information on DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, can be found online at                         

Full program details and an entry form can also be found in DEC’s Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call (518) 402-8891 or email

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