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Kansas Crappie Removed From State-Record List After Steel Wights Found in Stomach

The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Kansas Crappie Removed From State-Record List After Steel Wights Found in Stomach

Posted 2024-03-01  by  Stephanie Mallory

An investigation revealed insufficient evidence to prosecute the case

After an investigation, a Kansas fisherman’s state-record white crappie was voided when officials from the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) discovered steel weights inside the “record” catch.

According to KSNT, in April of last year, Bobby Parkhurst’s white crappie — weighing 4.07 pounds and measuring 18 inches long and 14 inches wide — was initially declared a new state record but has since been replaced with the previous state record set in 1964.

Parkhurst had caught the fish in Pottawatomie State Fishing Lakes No. 2, and it was reported that it topped the 59-year-old record of 4.02 pounds caught by Frank Miller of Eureka in 1964.

But a witness called the KDWP with a tip, claiming Parkhurst’s crappie initially weighed 3.73 pounds.

“To preserve the integrity of KDWP’s state-record program, KDWP game wardens met with the angler who voluntarily presented his fish for re-examination,” KDWP spokeswoman Nadia Marji told KSNT. “When staff used a handheld metal detector to scan the fish, the device detected the presence of metal.”

The game wardens then took the crappie to be X-rayed at Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center where it revealed two steel ball bearings in the fish’s stomach.

KDWP rescinded the record, only saying that the “written application form was not ‘true and correct,’” pointing to the listed weight on the form.

Parkhurst claimed he properly completed the application, saying, “I don’t understand why they’re doing this to me.”

“I did it the whole way they wanted me to do it,” Parkhurst told KSNT. “I went through the procedures. I wrote down what I caught it on. I did everything they wanted me to do by the book. I did everything I was supposed to do. Their biologists looked at it more than once.”

The situation is similar to a September 22 incident when two tournament anglers in Ohio were caught putting lead weights into walleye in an effort to win big money. After eventually admitting guilt, they were sentenced to 10 days in jail, lost fishing privileges for three years, and forfeited their $100,000 boat.

But in this case, Katie Garceran of the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office told KSNT that an investigation revealed insufficient evidence to prosecute the case concerning the creation of false information.

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