WV angler catches state record longnose gar

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — An 11-year record for the longest longnose gar caught in West Virginia has been broken, Gov. Jim Justice and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources announced today.

The record-breaking fish, which measured in at 53.62 inches, was caught by Rich Chapman of Ashton, W.Va. on July 3 in the Ohio River in Mason County. WVDNR District 5 fishery biologist Jeff Hansbarger verified the record catch. Chapman used a live bluegill for bait.

Chapman’s fish exceeded the previous longnose gar length record of 52.25 inches, which was set by Mark Foster in 2012 on the Ohio River. However, it did not break the longstanding weight record of 19.08 pounds, which was set by Michael Casey 30 years ago on the Kanawha River.

Anglers who believe they have caught a potential record-breaking fish should report his or her catch to the WVDNR for verification. Fish that do not qualify as a state record, may still qualify for a trophy citation. For more information, visit WVdnr.gov/fishing/state-records.

To purchase a West Virginia fishing license, visit WVfish.com.

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