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  • North Dakota Outdoor News

    New State Record Smallmouth Bass Caught
    Location: North Dakota

    Bruce Elberg’s catch on April 14 is the first entry on North Dakota’s list of state record fish since 2005. The Burlington angler reeled in a 6-pound, 13-ounce smallmouth bass from Lake Darling.

    The 19 and one-quarter inch fish broke the old record of 5 pounds, 15 ounces taken by Roger Haugen of Jamestown in 2003 at Spiritwood Lake.

    A new state record smallmouth from Lake Darling is not a total surprise, according to Greg Power, fisheries chief with the state Game and Fish Department. “Although big smallmouth bass in Lake Darling are not common, the heaviest smallmouth registered with the department’s Whopper program last year did come from there,” Power said.

    Smallmouth bass opportunities throughout North Dakota have increased dramatically, Power mentioned, as a result of new introductions and stocking efforts that began about 15 years ago. “Today, most lakes and reservoirs in which smallmouth bass were introduced now have self-sustaining populations,” he said.

    In the past four years, more than 50 smallmouth bass of at least four pounds and a handful over five pounds were entered in the Whopper Club (three pound minimum) from 15 different North Dakota fisheries.

    Although some people harvest big smallmouth bass, Power said most anglers continue to practice catch-and-release. In the past four years, more than 450 catch-and-release reports have been recorded.

    To qualify for the department’s Catch and Release Club, a smallmouth bass must measure 16 inches.

    News Source: North Dakota DNR - Apr. 29, 2007

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