Post Content

Marion Larson

Marion Larson

Outreach Coordinator, MassWildlife

View Marion's Bio

Carp record 46 lbs_ Shane Felch_ by MLarson 4-19-12“Someone in fisheries please come to the front office to weigh a fish.” 

This kind of announcement over the PA system at the MassWildlife Field Headquarters isn’t unusual.  I didn’t pay much attention until one of our wildlife technicians appeared at my door saying that I might want to see a new record-breaking fish in the fisheries office. I grabbed my camera and hurried upstairs.  Lying on the floor below our scale was a huge carp. I couldn’t believe the size of this fish! 

The angler, Shane Felch of Shrewsbury, and his friend Devon DuBois were grinning from ear to ear. I snapped a couple of images in the office as more biologists clattered down the hall to see the big fish.  This carp, taken from Lake Quinsigamond in Shrewsbury, weighed a staggering 46 pounds, 5 ounces, breaking the 1993 state carp record of 44 pounds 2 ounces set by Roger Pyzocha with a fish he caught on the Connecticut River.  

Shane took his fish with a cross bow (which requires a special permit for hunting and fishing in Massachusetts).  Carp are one of the few freshwater fish in Massachusetts which can be taken by either using a hook, line or bow and arrow.  A line on the crossbow bolt is connected to a reel, which is attached to the bow.  When the bolt is released, the angler can then use the bow to reel in the fish.  This catch was a team effort between Shane and his buddy Devon, who operated the boat. 

Devon laughed. “This fish dragged us all over the place – it’s only a little 14-foot john boat,” he said.

Shane and Devon have only tried “bowfishing” for carp in the past year: reading articles, ordering equipment, and going out on late night fishing expeditions. Their strategy is to slowly travel the shallows of the lake, with lights blazing to spot the fish, aim and shoot into the water. I teased them about “jack lighting carp” – which is a perfectly legal and traditional fishing technique.

There are three varieties of the Common Carp, Cyprinus carpio, found in Massachusetts: the “standard” or “typical” variety which is fully scaled like most conventional fish; the “mirror carp” which displays various numbers of large, scattered scales interspersed with unscaled skin; and the “leather carp” which has bare, leathery skin and is almost entirely lacking in scales. The leather is believed to be the most uncommon variety in the Commonwealth, but many are taken by carp anglers every year. The new state record has large, scattered scales and is therefore a mirror carp, which anglers report is the most common variety caught from Lake Quinsigamond.  

Paperwork for entering the fish in the Freshwater Sportfishing Awards Program was quickly completed and images of the fish and the scale measurement taken. It was a good thing Shane brought the fish to Westborough; any angler who believes they have broken a state record must present their fish in its entirety (whole) to qualified fisheries personnel at MassWildlife Field Headquarters in Westborough or at any of the five MassWildlife District offices for certification.

Shane says he’s going to be back at our office with another fish.

“This isn’t the biggest fish. I’ve seen another one that looks twice as big as this one,” he said. “I promise you, I’ll be back.”

Congratulations guys!

Freshwater State Record page:
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/recreation/fishing/awards/state_fish_records.htm

Sportfishing Awards Program—Enter your big catch!
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/recreation/fishing/awards/sportfish_awards_program.htm

 

 

 

Written By:

Recent Posts

Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers! posted on Jul 30

Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers!

I always thought wasps were the bad guys growing up. But smokey-winged beetle bandit wasps (Cerceris fumipennis) are actually the good guys – used to kill off an invasive species. This specific type of wasp (that does not sting) catches Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a   …Continue Reading Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers!

A Whale of a License Plate posted on Jul 28

A Whale of a License Plate

Wish your license plate was more identifiable? Want to save whales? Well, there is a way to achieve both of these at once. Perhaps the old saying about hitting two birds with one stone should be “do two cool things with one easy payment to the   …Continue Reading A Whale of a License Plate

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster posted on Jul 23

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Everything that you have been told about lobsters is a lie. Okay, maybe not everything. But despite the popularity of the lobster industry (and it’s a very popular industry—bringing in over $53 million dollars in Massachusetts alone), many popular beliefs about the lobster’s existence are   …Continue Reading Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster