View Full Version : IN DNR misidentified catfish as record bullhead

10-30-2003, 02:23 AM
DNR tells Dyer angler catfish isn’t record-setter

Wednesday, oct. 29, 2003

By Martha Bisacchi / NW Indiana Post Tribune

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Department of Natural Resources announced Tuesday that it was mistaken when it said Ronald Moeller of Dyer caught a record-breaking bullhead catfish.

The fish, which weighed 6.955 pounds, was identified at the Kankakee Fish and Wildlife Area as a bullhead catfish. The bullhead catfish state record was set in 1994 at 4.9 pounds.

Instead of being a bullhead catfish, the DNR now maintains that the fish was a white catfish, and it was nowhere near a state record.

“We’ve learned the hard way that you can’t accurately identify a partially thawing fish,” fisheries biologist Bob Robertson said. “When the fish was frozen, the tail appeared flat.”

According to the DNR, a bullhead catfish has a distinctive V-shaped tail which DNR employees misidentified.

The whole situation has left Moeller disappointed. A DNR employee contacted Moeller on Monday to apologize for their mistake and to tell him that they would announce that the fish had not set a record.

“They said they were sorry, but there was nothing they could do,” Moeller said.

Moeller said that DNR employees told him white are mostly found on the East Coast.

“From the pictures I’ve seen, it doesn’t look like a white catfish,” Moeller said.

“(The fish experts) should be able to tell what type of fish it is in a couple of minutes. I wonder if they know what they are doing,” Moeller said.

Moeller also wonders if it is possible for the fish to be a cross breed.

Moeller has received several phone calls from news services and newspapers about the fish he caught on July 13 in a two-acre pond that is approximately 13 to 14 feet deep behind Villa Cesare Banquet Hall in Schererville. He was fishing with his wife and friends when he caught the fish.

The whole experience, which has been trying, has not turned Moeller off to the sport of fishing.

“I’ll still go fishing,” Moeller said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Martha Bisacchi may be reached at marthabisacchi@yahoo.com