Maryland State Record Blue Catfish

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A new Maryland state record has been set for blue catfish by Ed Jones from Aloha, Oregon. The fish was caught on August 13 in the Potomac River near Fort Washington. The enormous catfish weighed 84 pounds with 52 inch overall length and a girth of 36.5 inches.

Jones and his guide, Captain Josh Fitchett of Montpelier, Va., kept the fish alive and took it into Fort Washington Marina to have it weighed and certified by a Maryland Department of Natural Resource (DNR) Fisheries Service biologist.

The previous Maryland blue catfish record was an 80-pound, 12-ounce fish caught in February by Shawn Wetzel of Orrtanna, Pa., near where Jones caught his record fish.

As part of a cooperative study by Maryland and Virginia fisheries biologists, DNR biologists tagged the fish before Jones and Fitchett returned the fish alive into the Potomac near where they caught it.

Anglers who catch and report a tagged catfish will receive a commemorative Catfish Program hat and pin, while helping study distribution of catfish in area waters. Anglers must call the number on the yellow or green tags, 301-888-2423, to receive the reward.

Blue catfish are native to the Mississippi Valley and were introduced to the James and Rappahannock Rivers in the 1970s. The fish have reproduced and spread throughout the tidal Potomac River system.

In Maryland, it is illegal to transport live blue and flathead catfish for the purpose of introduction into another body of water. Additionally, DNR officials are asking anglers to remove and kill any blue and flathead catfish that they catch.

source: MD DNR