I got to thinking. . . . I have not given a summary of state record fish certified in 2019. Time to do that. . . .
Four fish were certified as new state records in 2019.
No new state record fish were taken by surface spearfishing in 2019.
One fish taken by underwater spearfishing was certified as a state record in 2019, a 1 pound 12 ounce redear sunfish taken from a private pond in Keith County.
One fish taken by bowfishing was certified as a state record last year; a paddlefish that weighed 89 pounds. That fish was of course taken during the 2019 archery paddlefish season from the Missouri River in the Gavins Point Dam tailwaters.
During high water years, we often see big paddlefish. Likely this new record was a paddlefish that grew large in a Dakota reservoir and then moved downstream into our waters with the high flows in the Missouri River in 2019.
Rod and Reel
Two fish caught on rod and reel were certified as new state records in 2019.
The tiger trout rod & reel state record continues to push higher, now standing at 4 pounds 14 ounces. That fish was caught in April from the North Platte River in Keith County.
The rod & reel state record for common carp was bettered in May by a 34 pound 13 ounce fish caught from private lake in Washington County.
That is all. Only four fish were certified as state records last year. That total is lower than what we have seen in recent years. Usually, between surface and underwater spearing, bowfishing, and rod and reel fishing, there will be at least ten state record applications cross my desk each year.
There were likely several reasons fewer record fish were caught in 2019; however, I can only speculate on those reasons. One thing for sure, weather events had a huge impact on Nebraska in 2019. Those events impacted our fishing too, no doubt about it.
However, I will again point out that the most basic habitat requirement for fish is water (took me 6+ years of college to learn that). More water is a good thing for the state’s fish populations. With all the precipitation we had in 2019, there will be some pay-offs in future years. Fish that benefited from all the water we were blessed with in 2019 might be state records several years from now. Who knows?
Take a minute and dream big while looking at the complete list of state record fish. And, just in case, take another minute to learn the state record rules listed in the 2020 Fishing Guide. Every time you GO FISH, you just never know!