Doniphan man catches state record eel

This eel is two pounds heavier than the previous state record.
Record Eel Source Mdc

Carlin Allison of Doniphan now holds a rare state record for American eel after reeling in a 6-pound, 15-ounce fish on the Current River. MDC confirms this is the ninth state record fish recorded in 2021. (Source: MDC)

DONIPHAN, Mo. (KBSI) – A Doniphan man caught a state record eel on a pole and line on the Current River July 26.

Carlin Allison was catfishing on the Current River when he reeled in the 6-pound, 15-ounce eel. This large eel makes the ninth state record fish recorded this year.

“I was using skipjack bait, and originally thought I was pulling in a catfish,” recalled Allison. “My buddy and I were out at about 3 that morning, so it was dark outside and I couldn’t see that well, but it put up one heck of a fight!”

Allison said he was about to cut the line after finding the eel at the end, but his friend immediately stopped him. They looked up information on the previous state record online and decided to reel it in.

The eel was weighed on a certified scale in Doniphan. The previous record as a 4-pound, 8-ounce eel caught on the Meramec River in 1993.

The American eel is listed as a Species of Conservation Concern in Missouri and is an uncommon catch, but probably occurs occasionally in every large stream in the state, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. American eels control aquatic insects, crayfish and other fish, and they serve as prey to other predators. American eel is defined as Other fish and harvest is regulated under the Wildlife Code of Missouri.

All eels in Missouri are female as only females migrate to inland waters. Male eels spend their entire adult lives in estuaries along the coast. Most of the female’s adult life occurs in freshwater. Eels then migrate to breed in the Atlantic Ocean south of Bermuda. It is assumed adult eels breed once, then die. Missouri’s eel population lives mainly in deep pools around cover, such as logs and boulders, in moderate-to-large Missouri streams and rivers. The state’s eel population has been reduced by large dams, which restrict its ability to migrate.

“I knew we had eel in Missouri, but never that big,” Allison told the Missouri Department of Conservation. “I really don’t know how to feel about holding this state record. I guess I’ve got bragging rights!”

Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include throwlines, limb lines, bank lines, jug lines, spearfishing, snagging, snaring, gigging, grabbing, archery, and atlatl.

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