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WVDNR Reports Fourth State Record Catch Since December 2023

South Charleston, WV— The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) announced that an angler has caught a state record bowfin on the Ohio River in Mason County, making this the fourth state record catch confirmed since December 2023.

“There’s nothing quite as exciting as finding a trophy at the end of your line and we’re thrilled that West Virginia anglers keep reeling in record catches and showing the world that our state is truly a world-class fishing destination,” said WVDNR Director Brett McMillion.

The record fish, a 10.60-pound, 30.20-inch bowfin, was caught and released on March 12 by Lauren Noble from Letart in Mason County using a small crankbait. Noble’s record bowfin was certified by WVDNR District 5 fish biologist Jeff Hansbarger.

News of Noble’s record-breaking catch comes less than a week after the WVDNR and Gov. Jim Justice announced that state-record redbreast sunfish and tiger trout were caught at New Creek Lake in February. A record blue catfish also was caught on the Ohio River in December 2023.

Noble’s catch surpasses the previous weight record holder, a 9.25-pound bowfin caught by Matt Stender in 2006. Donald Newcomb III continues to hold the 32.25-inch length record he established in 1994. 

To learn more about state fish record categories, check page 23 in the West Virginia Fishing Regulations Summary, available to download at To learn more about the Master Angler Program, see page 9.
All anglers 15 and older must have a West Virginia fishing license, which can be purchased online at Anglers are reminded that a trout stamp is required when fishing for trout. They are also encouraged to upgrade their fishing experience by opting for a physical license card when they purchase their 2024 fishing license.

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