These two giant fish caught on the same day are new MN records

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Above is Cindy Pawlowski, from Frazee, who caught that lake sturgeon on the Rainy River on May 8. It measured in at 62 7/8 inches long with a 29-inch girth.

And here is Steven DeMars of Stillwater who caught and released this flathead catfish from the St. Croix River in Washington County on the same day. It measured 47 inches long with a 30-inch girth.

Both of these catches are records in the state of Minnesota – not of all-time, but as part of a new catch-and-release record program.

Catch-and-release records

The DNR announced the new records in April.

You have to catch it, measure it and take a photograph of the fish, then release it. So Pawloswki has the first lake sturgeon record ever under this new program; while DeMars had the first flathead catfish record.

There's a muskie record as well, but nobody has sent in an application to claim it.

The DNR says it created the new records because catch-and-release is becoming more common, and a lot of anglers don't want to harvest the fish just to try for a record. There are also fewer chances to keep the fish anyway because of new higher minimum length requirements from last year.

You can read more about the DNR's state record programs here. And here's the application for submitting a catch-and-release record.

There's still a certified record weight program that means actually catching the fish, not just letting it go back in the water. The biggest lake sturgeon ever caught was 94 pounds 4 ounces, and measured 70 inches long with a girth of 26 1/2 inches.

The flathead record is 70 pounds, but length and girth weren't recorded.

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