New State Record Lake Trout Certified: OH

Article Posted: May 16, 2000

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New State Record Lake Trout Certified

FAIRPORT HARBOR, OHIO -- A new state record lake trout was caught recently
by a Lake Erie angler, surpassing the previous state record by more than 3
1/2 pounds, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division
of Wildlife.
The new state record lake trout, weighing in at 20.49 pounds, was caught
April 20 by Tom Harbison of Natrona Heights, PA while perch fishing on Lake
Erie near Conneaut Harbor . Harbison was about one mile off shore in 48
foot of water and using 12-pound test monofilament line on a casting reel
when he caught the record fish. The new record lake trout was certified by
the Outdoor Writers of Ohio that officially certifies all-tackle state
record fish.
"At first I thought I had a burbot or a drum, said Harbison. "But then
after fighting it for awhile I thought it was a walleye. Then after about 4
or 5 minutes, I just knew it was something big. I knew it wasn't a
steelhead because it would have broken water right away. Then when I saw it
I was really shocked to see it was a lake trout."
Harbison, a licensed charter captain, added the fish was his first-ever lake
The record fish measured 34 inches long and had a girth of 23 inches.
Biologists at the Division of Wildlife's Fairport Harbor Fisheries Research
Station used a length at age graph supplied by the Great Lakes Fishery
Commission, Lake Erie Committee's Cold Water Task Group to age the fish at
about 24 years of age.
"There were virtually no lake trout in Lake Erie from the 1960s through the
early 1970s, said Carey Knight, fisheries biologist with the Division of
Wildlife's Fairport Research Station. "Sea lampreys and loss of habitat
reduced populations to near extinction. Lake Erie fisheries agencies began
stocking lake trout in the 1970's, and it's possible that this fish was one
of the early fish that were stocked. "
The previous Ohio record lake trout of 16 pounds, 11 ounces and was caught
by Daniel Wilson June 6, 1993 from Lake Erie.

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