(3.9) FISH and/or FISHING - 1977 FL GFC State Freshwater Fish Records Program
Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
State Record Freshwater Fish Program
As Reported by
Florida Wildlife magazine
May-June 1977 Issue
An Official Publication (at that time) of the old
Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission
A fisherman's trip down memory lane!
An Information, Photos, & Sources Report
Compiled by Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca
With the assistance of Captain Erika Ritter
Created: 28 February 2015
Last Revised: 29 May 2015
NOTE: Click-on individual photos / pages to enlarge them!
May-June 1977 Florida Wildlife magazine page 44 excerpts:
"For many years, as a token of appreciation to subscribers, FLORIDA WILDLIFE has offered a certificate of recognition for landing trophy-sized specimens of certain popular sport species. Long-time subscribers will remember the full-page notice of the citation program carried in most issues of the magazine until recently. This was fine, as far as it went."
"The problem was that the mechanics of receiving and recording big fish information had never been set up."
To remedy this situation, the Commission's Fish Management Division, assisted by FLORIDA WILDLIFE, initiated a State Record Fish program to keep tabs on the lunkers."
"Through particular circumstances, some fish caught prior to the initiation of the program were accepted as records."
May-June 1977 Florida Wildlife magazine page 45 excerpts:
"CRITERIA FOR ESTABLISHING FLORIDA'S FRESHWATER FISH RECORDS"
"Any fish to be considered for record must have been taken in Florida waters."
"Application for recognition of a fish as a state record must carry the certification of a Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission fisheries biologist, regional manager, or other qualified Commission employee, stating that he personally identified, measured, and weighed the fish. Weighing must be done on a scale certified by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services."
"Only an unfrozen carcass will be acceptable for certification. If circumstances make it necessary to freeze the specimen before it is presented to the certifying authority, it must be thawed for weighing, measuring and detailed examination to verify that it has not been altered in any manner."
"Proof must be established beyond a reasonable doubt that the fish was taken by legal sport fishing methods, and a notarized statement to that effect is a part of the application for recognition of the catch. Names and addresses of witnesses must be listed on the record application."
"In the event the fish appears to be a possible state or world record, a panel of biologists may be appointed by the Director of the Fish Management Division to consider all aspects of the application. A majority opinion will be final regarding the acceptance of the fish as the state record."
"The Biggest Largemouth Bass Ever Reportedly Caught From The Ocklawaha River, Florida"
"ALL-TIME TOP-25 BIGGEST / HEAVIEST LARGEMOUTH BASS
EVER CAUGHT (OR REPORTEDLY CAUGHT) IN FLORIDA"
"Record Size Largemouth Bass"
"This replica accurately displays Buddy Wright’s 18-13 ounce bass."
"The history of record bass in North Central Florida does not all center around Kingsley Lake however. Buddy Wright, a current resident of Keystone Heights, has always fished from a 12 foot jon boat and never fished in a bass tournament; but, in April of 1987 he was having a good day on the St. Johns River, south [sic] of Palatka, with a couple of nice catches under his belt that weighed over five pounds each. His last catch of the day – caught on a Bill Norman Weed Walker lure – was a monster that weighed in at 18 pounds and 13 ounces. Unfortunately the fish lost a lot of roe before its first weigh in on a certified accurate scale. The fish was subsequently frozen and thawed out for another certified weight; however, the FWC would not recognize the fish because a wildlife officer did not get to his home until two weeks after notification and after the fish was frozen, thus depriving Buddy of a Florida State Record. All was not lost though, because the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) did recognize Buddy’s catch as a world record for a 16-pound line weight catch, and Buddy has that plaque on his wall beside the replica."
REFERENCE AS: Nosca, P. 2015. "1977 Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission state record freshwater fish program" webpage report. "Ocklawahaman Paul Nosca reports" website. Paul Nosca, Eureka, FL.