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Pennsylvania State Record Yellow Perch

February 6, 2001

A 2-pound, 9-ounce yellow perch has been named the new state record for the species by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

The perch, which measured 16.25-inches long, was

Pennsylvania State Record Yellow Perch

caught by Keith Meck of Macungie, while ice fishing at Beltzville Lake, Carbon County on February 9, 2000. Sensing he had something special, Meck had the fish weighed on a certified scale. When the fish weighed in at an ounce more than the 2-pound, 8-ounce record perch caught by Anthony A. Karuzie at Hunters Lake, Sullivan County in 1992, he knew he was right.

Although the fish was landed, state record status almost got away. The Commission, the only entity which can certify a new state record fish in the Commonwealth, requires applications for potential state records be submitted with specific documentation on an official form. A Commission volunteer supplied Meck with an application - but accidentally provided him with the wrong form. As a result, the perch was initially entered into the Angler Award Program logs. The Angler Award Program recognize anglers who make exceptional catches of fish that don’t meet state record standards. The error was eventually discovered, but as the Angler Award Program requires less stringent documentation, some of the information needed to confirm the fish as a new record was not immediately available.

"Fortunately, Mr. Meck was able to produce most of the missing information. And after a thorough review, we were happy to certify his catch as a new state record. We’ve all heard of the big one that got away, but this may be the first state record that almost got away because of confusion over paperwork," said Carl Richardson, who coordinates the program for the Commission.

To be considered for state record certification, a fish must be caught using legal means, in season, from Pennsylvania waters open to the public without charge or fee. Fish taken from farm ponds, fee-fishing lakes, ponds or streams or in waters restricted to use by club members or their guests do not qualify. Potential record fish must exceed the established benchmark by at least one ounce, as weighed on a certified scale. The fish must be examined by a Commission biologist or Waterways Conservation Officer.



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