Record perch rumored caught near JamestownOfficials with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department are investigating a fish story. They want to know if a new state-record perch has been caught in Stutsman County. At the same time they are also cautioning people to be wary on the ice.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
Officials with the North Dakota Game and Fish Department are investigating a fish story. They want to know if a new state-record perch has been caught in Stutsman County. At the same time they are also cautioning people to be wary on the ice.
“The rumor is that a potential state record yellow perch has been caught at Mud Lake possibly by a woman,” said Gene Van Eeckhout, southeast district fisheries supervisor for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Mud Lake is located southwest of Woodworth and is a new perch fishery, Van Eeckhout said. The fish would need to exceed 2 pounds, 15 ounces — the weight of a perch caught at Devils Lake in 1982 — to break the state record.
“If anyone knows of this fish we’d like to track it down and confirm it,” Van Eeckhout said. “Then we can recognize it as a state record.”
If the fish exceeds 1 pound, 12 ounces, it would be eligible for classification as a “whopper” by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department.
Anglers pursuing records, whoppers or some fish for the pan are being urged to use caution on the ice.
“There has been at least one (fish house) that went through the ice on the Jamestown Reservoir,” said Corey Erck, game warden for the Jamestown District. “There are a couple of others that we suspect are at the bottom.”
Erck said he will use underwater cameras to check the locations as soon as the ice stabilizes. Owners of sunken fish houses are responsible for removing them from the lake.
“If anyone lost their house through the ice they need to let Game and Fish know,” he said. “We can work with them in retrieving the fish house.”
Anyone ice fishing or attempting to move a fish house on the ice should monitor conditions closely.
“Be extremely careful,” Erck said. “There are areas of good ice, there are areas of bad ice and there are areas of no ice at all.”
Van Eeckhout said the conditions change rapidly.
“Just on Thursday there were two areas on the Jamestown reservoir where there was open water all the way across the lake,” he said. “The conditions change as the weather changes but it is going to take a long time for those areas to be safe ice.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org