MANHATTAN (CN) – Breaking the longstanding record for a dinosaur-like fish called longnose gar, a Hoosick Falls fisherman brought New York its third record fish this year, officials touted Monday.
A release this morning from the State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner explains that Michael Gatus was actually fishing for channel catfish in Lake Champlain’s South Bay when he hauled in a longnose gar on Aug. 18.
Weighing in at 14 lb., 10 oz., the catch broke the 1999 New York state record by more than 1½ pounds.
“Evolutionarily speaking, longnose gar are considered living dinosaurs,” the DEC release states. “Their long, needle-like snout is filled with rows of teeth, making them unmistakable from any other fish species.”
Commonly found in shallow, weedy areas, longnose gar are found primarily in New York in the St. Lawrence River, Niagara River, Lake Champlain, eastern Lake Ontario and the larger tributaries to these waters.”
Gatus had been in a section of Lake Champlain in Whitehall, Washington County, when he caught his winning catch.
The DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program tracks state record fish, ranking Gatus along with William Wightman, who caught a 4 lb., 1 oz. black crappie caught from Lake Flavia, Cattaraugus County, on May 6; and Brian Hartman, who caught an 18 lb., 2 oz. walleye from the St. Lawrence River on May 5.