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For Release: Friday, May 5, 2017

DEC Announces New Record for Channel Catfish

Watertown Resident Eric Scordo Catches 35 lb 3 oz, 38.25 inch Catfish

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has confirmed that a new state record has been established for channel catfish.

Eric Scordo with record-breaking catfish.

Using just a nightcrawler, Eric Scordo of Watertown caught a 35-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish measuring 38 ¼ inches in Lake Ontario in Jefferson County on April 29. The fish broke the previous state record caught from Brant Lake (Warren County) in 2002 by nearly 2½ pounds.

"Mr. Scordo's record-breaking channel catfish is a prime example of the outstanding fishing opportunities in New York for a variety of species, not just popular gamefish," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "This new record kicks off the 2017 freshwater fishing season, and I encourage all New Yorkers to buy their license, pick up a rod and reel, and try their hand at hooking a trophy catch in any of the state's 7,500 lakes and ponds and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams."

Channel catfish are the largest members of the catfish species that live in New York and can be found statewide. They feed primarily on the bottom and are most easily caught using live bait such as worms or baitfish. When hooked, catfish can provide a challenge for even the most experienced anglers. They are also one of the tastiest freshwater fish.

Mr. Scordo 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.

A photo of the record fish can be found on the New York State Freshwater Fishing Records page of DEC's website.

For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC's website. Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC's current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call (518) 402-8891 or email

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