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Sept. 18, 2006

New Fish Records Web Site a Feast for Trivia Lovers

ATHENS, Texas — Quick — what is a Hawaiian sling, and for what purpose did Robert Horrigan use one in the San Marcos River on April 10, 1989?

The answer to that question (and many others you never thought of) can be found in the newly revamped fish record pages of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s web site.

“We've replaced the old lists with a searchable database,” says Joedy Gray, coordinator of the Angler Recognition Program. “It’s now possible to select a lake, river or bay and get all water body records for that location on one page.”

Fly fishing records are now listed along with other rod and reel records, but you can still search for fly fishing records only.

To make the site even more user-friendly, links to award categories, submission guidelines, locations of certified scales and selected photos are in a handy sidebar on the search page.

In addition to records by weight by method of take—rod and reel, bowfishing and other legal means—the site also includes a new category, state catch and release records. Fish entered into this category must be released alive after having their length recorded. That leads to a couple of bits of information practically guaranteed to make trivia lovers quiver with delight.

To wit: The catch and release record for largemouth bass, 26.13 inches, ties the length of the fish ranking number 24 by length on the list of top 50 largemouth bass. And the catch and release record for smallmouth bass, 22.75 inches, ties the length of the fish ranking—you guessed it—number 24 by length on the list of top 50 smallmouth bass.

What other obscure fishy facts lurk in the lists? Find out by going to www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/programs/fishrecords and beginning your search. There you’ll find all the information you’ll need to perhaps add your name to one of the lists.

And what is a Hawaiian sling, and what did Robert Horrigan do with it?

It’s a type of spear gun, and he took the state freshwater record American eel with it. It’s on the page titled “State Freshwater Records: Other Methods.”

Now you know.

LH 2006-09-18


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