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Angler Catches Massive Freshwater Drum
New York Ag Connection - 09/13/2017

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that Jason Bair of Macedon, Wayne County, reeled in a state record-breaking freshwater drum from Oneida Lake, Oneida County. Caught on June 16, and weighing in at 36 pounds, the new record drum surpassed the previous state record set in 2016 by more than 6 pounds.

"New York continues to provide outstanding fishing opportunities for a wide variety of species, including the lesser known freshwater drum," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "I congratulate Mr. Bair on his outstanding catch accomplishment and encourage all of New York's anglers to participate in the Angler Achievement Awards Program. Not only can anglers receive recognition for sizable fish they catch, but the program is a helpful tool for DEC to learn more about where anglers are fishing."

This latest state record is the second one established in 2017. Eric Scordo kicked off the year with a 35 lb. 3 oz. channel catfish he caught from Lake Ontario, Jefferson County on April 29, 2017. Bair's freshwater drum marks the fourth state record drum caught since 2005. While records for other more common sportfish have remained unbroken for years, the recent surge in drum records indicates that freshwater drum are gaining popularity with New York anglers. It also appears that drum are growing to much larger sizes than they ever have in many New York waters. This growth is likely due to their ability to effectively forage on the abundant invasive quagga and/or zebra mussels found in these waters.

Bair submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. Three categories make up the program: Catch & Release, Annual Award, and State Record.

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