The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation announced recently that a bowfisherman from Ringwood set a new all-tackle state record for river carpsucker last month.
On May 10, Josh Brooks harvested a nine-pound, 6.4-ounce carpsucker near the mouth of the North Canadian River in Canton Lake. The fish measured an impressive 25-3/4 inches long and 17-2/4 inches in girth. It was later weighed on a certified scale and verified by a state biologist.
Brooks’ carpsucker smashed the previous unrestricted record of eight pounds and 11.8-ounces, which was caught by fellow bowfisherman Jeff Ray at Fort Cobb Lake in 2010. The current rod-and-reel record for carpsucker belongs to a seven-pound, 11-ounce fish caught by W.C. Kenyon in a Canadian County pond back in 1990.
Despite not being especially popular for rod-and-reel anglers, river carpsuckers are considered an important commercial and sportfish. They can be found widely across the Mississippi River and much of the Central United States, although they have also been introduced to non-indigenous waters such as Lake Erie and the lower Maumee River in Ohio as a game species.
Due to their shape and name, carpsuckers are often mistaken for the far less desirable silver carp, which is an invasive species also living in the Mississippi River. Unlike silver carp, river carpsuckers are not generally considered a threat to native fish species and in some places can even provide forage for larger predators such as muskie, walleye, and largemouth bass.
Image courtesy Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation