On May 21, 2011 Derek S. DePew filled a vacant Missouri state alternative fishing methods record for highfin carpsucker (Carpiodes velifer) while participating in a bowfishing tournament on the Meramec River.
MDC keeps two sets of fishing records. One is for fish caught on a hand-held pole and line. The other category is for “alternative methods,” including bowfishing and gigging.
The Fishes of Missouri by William L Pflieger describes the highfin carpsucker as rare, with known populations only in the Meramec, Gasconade, Osage and White river systems. One distinguishing feature is the extremely long filament on the front of the dorsal fin.
A large highfin carpsucker was among several fish that began leaping wildly around his boat when he cruised into a shallow spot on the river. Seeing the long filament on the fish’s dorsal fin, DePew recognized immediately what it might be and loosed his arrow, piercing the fish in midair.
Since the alternative-methods record for the species was open, DePew got an automatic record when Conservation Agent Chris Boyd verified the fish’s species. The fish weighed 1 pound, 6 ounces and was 15 inches long. According to The Fishes of Missouri, highfin carpsuckers seldom grow larger than a pound or longer than 12 inches.
Highfin carpsuckers prefer clearer, cleaner streams than their close and much more widely distributed relatives, the river carpsucker (Carpiodes carpio) and the quillback (Carpiodes cyprinus).
Now that he has a state record, DePew said he plans to focus his efforts on reducing the number of invasive silver carp in Missouri streams. On July 30, the Missouri Metro Bowfishing Club will sponsor the Riverends Silver Carp Roundup at George Winter County Park in Fenton. The tournament will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and will recognize only Asian carp. Contact DePew at 636-524-3016 or Robert North at 314-420-5439 for further information.
A list of current state records, plus entry the fishing-record entry form are available at http://mdc.mo.gov/fishing/reports/records
Information about invasive carp is available at www.mdc.mo.gov/node/10244/
source: Missouri Department of Conservation