Ice fisherman ties Nevada's yellow perch record: 'I thought it was a trout'

Yup, that’s the record.

An ice fisherman in Nevada has officially tied the state record for yellow perch, snagging a 13.5-inch specimen weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces, the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) confirmed.

John Shorter III reeled in the yellow perch at Elko County’s Wild Horse Reservoir on Feb. 16 — a whole 32 years after the original record set by Warren Todd Goodale at Dufurrena Pond in 1987.

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“He’s had the record since 1987, so he’s had quite a run,” Shorter told NDOW.

Shorter added that he and a friend actually caught multiple fish – including 56 other perch – before hooking the “big” one, which he initially believed to be a trout because of how it felt on the line.

"I thought it was a trout because it was putting up way more of a fight than the perch had put up. We put it on the ice, and I said, ‘We’ve got to get this thing measured,’” he said.

A conservation expert with NDOW also called the catch encouraging, considering drought and larger predators have made ice-fishing trips less fruitful in recent years.

“This is the first year in probably six years, maybe even seven, that people were actually catching a lot of keeper size perch through the ice,” Joe Doucette said. “In fact, last year I couldn’t remember any perch being caught at all, so it’s very exciting.

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NDOW added that several lakes in eastern Nevada are still “in good shape” for ice fishing.