Upstate New York Man’s Record Fish Confirmed Eight Months Later
Usually the big question when catching a New York record fish is it's actual weight. For one Upstate New York man, he had to prove what kind of fish it was to get in the record book.
The DEC is now confirming Jordan Tontarski did indeed tie the state record when he reeled in a 1lb 9oz pumpkinseed. Although it took DEC officials 9 months to confirm the catch. The weight wasn't in question, it was the species of fish holding up the honor.
Jordan caught the fish last January while ice fishing near Watertown on the Black River during the Winter Classic Fishing Tournament. He immediately headed for the official weigh-in station where the questions began. Was it a pumpkinseed? Tournament officials felt it's physical features resembled both a pumpkinseed and the bluegill sunfish.
In order to get an answer, Jordan started his trek. First, he headed to the DEC's Region 6 Office for biologists' opinion. When the result was still inconclusive, he headed to Albany and the New York State Museum. Where fish experts, ichthyologists, used DNA tests to prove once and for all, the fish was a pure pumpkinseed.
Eight months and hundreds of miles later, Jordan Tontarski is in the record book as tying the state record originally set in 1994. He shares the record with by R. Kennard Mosher who caught his pumpkinseed at Indian Lake in Hamilton County.
If you ever think you've landed the big one, the DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program has the details on how to certify your catch. Here are the current state records for all species of fish.