Saturday, April 20th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Saturday, April 20th, 2024

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Kansas crappie removed from state records after steel ball bearings are found in its stomach

X-ray images taken of a white crappie originally certified as a new state-record fish in Kansas show the presence of two steel ball bearings. The fish, caught by Bobby Parkhurst on March 5, 2023, has since been removed as a state record by Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. (Photo courtesy of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks)

Topeka, Kansas — A man from Kansas who was declared as a new state-record holder for a crappie he caught last year has had that fish removed from the records after weights were discovered in the fish.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) verified a 4.07-pound white crappie caught by Bobby Parkhurst as the new state record on April 4, 2023. Parkhurst caught the crappie on March 5, 2023, from a lake in Pottawatomie County.

At the time, the huge panfish was thought to have broken the previous state-record white crappie, a 4.02-pound fish caught in 1964 by Frank Miller of Eureka, Kansas.

Five days after certifying Parkhurst’s crappie as the new record, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks received a tip from an eyewitness. The tipster told KDWP that the crappie had first been weighed at a different location where the fish weighed in at 3.73 pounds.

KDWP recently provided on update on the controversy.

Wardens took the fish to the Topeka Zoo to further examine it. An X-ray examination there revealed two steel ball bearings inside the crappie. (Photo courtesy of Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks)

“To preserve the integrity of KDWP’s state record program, KDWP game wardens met with the angler who voluntarily presented his fish for re-examination,” KDWP Chief of Public Affairs/Engagement Officer Nadia Marji wrote in a statement to Outdoor News. “When staff used a handheld metal detector to scan the fish, the device detected the presence of metal.”

Wardens took the fish to the Topeka Zoo to further examine it. An X-ray examination there revealed two steel ball bearings inside the crappie.

“As a result, the department later nullified the angler’s catch as a state record, reinstated the previous state record (Miller, 1964) and have since made the fish available for return to the angler,” Marji said.


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In a Facebook post from Feb. 3, Parkhurst wrote that he caught the fish legally and honestly and referred to the officers as bullies.

Stories of weights being found in fish as it pertains to big-money tournaments and now state records have been front-and-center in recent years.

In May of 2023, two tournament anglers pleaded guilty to felony cheating charges after they were disqualified from the Lake Erie Walleye Trail Championship in September 2022.

Jacob Runyan and Chase Cominsky, who were leading both the tournament and the LEWT Team of the Year competition at the time of the incident, were disqualified from the championship when a tournament director cut open the five fish they had entered to find that they were stuffed with lead weights and fillets from smaller walleyes.

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