Tom’s fish took the state record paddlefish honors from Louis Maring of Mern, NE. a who caught 107 lb. 12 oz. fish on October 6, 2014 below Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, SD.
The old state record fish had a jaw tag, a South Dakota jaw tag, tag number PP4568. That tag was put in that fish back on June 2, 1992. The fish was tagged below Ft. Randall Dam by a fellow South Dakota pointy-headed fisheries biologist that many of us know. Way back in 1992 he tagged that fish as part of the research he was doing for his Master’s degree. When the fish was tagged in 1992 it was 42 inches long (fork length) and weighed 49 pounds.
In 19 years that fish grew 9.75 inches and gained 58.75 pounds! No aging of the fish was ever done, but it was likely in its teens or early 20’s when it was initially tagged and would have been approaching 40 years old when it was caught this fall!
It is likely that fish “lived” in Lewis & Clark Reservoir as that would explain the incredible growth and size of the fish. Therefore, it is likely that fish moved out of Lewis & Clark with all the water that flowed through that system this summer and as fate would have it, ended up meeting Louis in the Gavins Point tailwaters this fall.