The state Department of Environmental Conservation announced recently that James VanArsdall of West Henrietta caught a record-breaking freshwater drum from Irondequoit Bay on Lake Ontario in Monroe County.
Caught on June 14, the fish measured 33.5 inches and weighed 26 pounds, 9 ounces and breaks the previous state record by more than 2 pounds.
Freshwater drum are also referred to as "sheepshead" and primarily dwell in large rivers and lakes. Their pronounced blunt head allows them to be easily identified. With numerous small round teeth made for crushing, drum feed mostly on freshwater snails, clams and crayfish. For more information on this unique fish species visit DEC's website.
VanArsdall 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 and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.
VanArsdall's catch is the second newly listed record on the New York Fish & Wildlife App, a free mobile app. On May 14, Eric Lester established a new inland state record when he caught a 60-pound striped bass in the Hudson River. The mobile app provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and other outdoor adventure opportunities in New York State.
DEC developed the app in partnership with Parks By Nature Network at no cost to the state. The app is now available for free download in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market for use on iPhone and Android devices.
A photo of the record fish can be found on the New York State Freshwater Fishing Records page of DEC's website. For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC's website. Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC's current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call 402-8891 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.