BISMARCK, North Dakota — North Dakota wildlife leaders have reduced the official weight of a huge goldeye caught by a 9-year-old Velva boy this summer, but it is still the biggest fish of its type ever caught in the state and will be considered for a world record.
North Dakota's Game and Fish Department has determined the goldeye that Brayden Selzler caught in Lake Audubon in late July is 4 pounds, 3 ounces — not 4 pounds, 12 ounces as initially thought.
The person who weighed the fish on an official scale at a Garrison convenience store erred when recording the fish's weight. The fish was mistakenly recorded as 4 pounds, 12 ounces, rather than 4.2 pounds, which would convert to 4 pounds, 3 ounces.
The store official reported the error about 10 days after the fish was weighed, and Game and Fish set out to verify the new weight, said Greg Power, fisheries chief for the agency.
"They (the Selzler family) had frozen it, and whenever you freeze a fish, you lose weight," Power said.
To estimate the lost weight, the agency used a process that involved netting about half a dozen cisco, which are similar to goldeye, freezing them for a similar length of time, then measuring the average weight loss and applying it to the goldeye.
The new weight still breaks the previous state record by 6 ounces. Craig Unser of Mandan had held the record with a goldeye he landed in New Johns Lake in 1998.
"The good news is, it's still a state record, and if he wants to go for the world record, it might still qualify for that," Power said.
Selzler's goldeye is bigger than the recognized overall all-tackle world record of 3-pounds, 13-ounces held by Gary Heuer, of Aberdeen, South Dakota. Selzler plans to ask the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, Wisconsin, to consider whether his catch is a world record.
The hall's executive director, Emmett Brown Jr., said he couldn't speculate about the chances of whether the fish is a world record until he receives the application. But he said the hall would closely review the process used to calculate the fish's weight after it was frozen.
"By my way of thinking this sounds like a 4 pound, 3 ounce fish that we may or may not ultimately recognize," Brown said.
Brayden's mother, Dorothy Jo Selzler, said her son plans to have the fish mounted once the process is finished.
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