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Westover Angler Catches State Record Fish

Justin Kelly and his record Gar

Pocomoke City, Md. (August 11, 2011) ó A Westover man caught a 17 pound, 49 inch longnose gar on July 31, setting a new State record. Justin Kelly, 20, was fishing on the Pocomoke River near Pocomoke City when he made the record catch, using steel leaders and live bluegill for bait.

ďWhen the fish got close, I thought we were going to need a bigger net,Ē Kelly said.

After a long fight, he finally pulled the fish aboard and noticed its exceptional size. Kelly then took his catch to the nearest Maryland Fishing Challenge award center.

The center measured and weighed the fish, then checked the Maryland Fishing Guide to find that it exceeded the 36-inch minimum angler award size and broke the previous State record of 16 pounds for longnose gar. DNR Biologist, Keith Lockwood soon joined Kelly to examine the fish and certify the rare catch.

The longnose garís ancestry dates back to among the most primitive of species. This brackish water fish features a long, cylindrical body with tough scales and rows of large, sharp teeth. Its bony mouth makes it difficult to catch.

Kelly is now one of Marylandís more than 90 fishing record holders. He will also join Marylandís other angler award winners on September 10 at the Maryland Fishing Challenge Grand Finale event during the 44th annual Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park. He is entered in the grand prize drawing for a chance to win a boat and trailer package from Bass Pro Shops and Tracker Boats, thousands of dollars in fishing gear and trips from Billís Outdoor Center or a tropical vacation from World Fishing Network.

For information on the Maryland Fishing Challenge, visit http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/challenge/index.asp

Keep up with the Maryland Fisheries Service by following @MDDNRFISH on Twitter.

Share your fishing success on the DNR Anglerís Log at http://www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/fishingreport/log.asp


   August 11, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov