The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently announced that Jason Bair, of Macedon, reeled in a state record-breaking freshwater drum from Oneida Lake in Oneida County.
The 36-pound fish surpassed the previous state record set in 2016 by more than 6 pounds.
“New York continues to provide outstanding fishing opportunities for a wide variety of species, including the lesser known freshwater drum,” said Basil Seggos, DEC commissioner. “I congratulate Mr. Bair on his outstanding catch accomplishment, and encourage all of New York’s anglers to participate in the Angler Achievement Awards program. Not only can anglers receive recognition for sizable fish they catch, but the program is a helpful tool for DEC to learn more about where anglers are fishing.”
This latest state record is the second one established in 2017. Eric Scordo kicked off the year with a 35 pound, 3 ounce channel catfish in April from Lake Ontario in Jefferson County.
Bair’s freshwater drum marks the fourth state record drum caught since 2005. While records for other more common sport fish have remained unbroken for years, the recent surge in drum records indicates freshwater drum are gaining popularity with New York anglers. It also appears that drum are growing to much larger sizes than ever in many New York waters. This growth is likely due to their ability to forage on the abundant invasive quagga and/or zebra mussels found in these waters.
Bair 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 to receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. Three categories make up the program: catch and release, annual award and state record.
For information, call 518-402-8891, email fwfish@dec.ny.gov or visit on.ny.gov/2v4QjE1.