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Catfish pulled from CJ Strike Reservoir breaks state record

Paul Newman went to the reservoir hoping to catch a sturgeon. While he didn’t hook a sturgeon, he did catch a new state record catfish.

BOISE, Idaho —

On July 20, Paul Newman of Fruitland set a new catch-and-release state record for channel catfish, according to Idaho Fish and Game (IDFG). 

Newman went to the reservoir hoping to catch a sturgeon. While he didn’t hook a sturgeon, he did catch a 42.5 inch and 32.9-pound record breaking catfish. The length of Newman’s catch easily surpassed the previous record of 33 inches set by Reed Monson at Lake Lowell back in 2020. It also beat the current weight record of 32.9-pound set only a few weeks ago by Cody Kastner. 

To learn more about other fish records or to apply on the state record fish page, click HERE. 

On July 19, Southwest District Health (SWDH) issued a health advisory for CJ Strike Reservoir after Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) water testing indicated high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria. 

SWDH urges residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water as cyanobacteria can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Individuals with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness. 

When it comes to fishing, SWDH recommends people wash their hands thoroughly in clean water after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. If the person intends to consume the fish, they should clean and wash it thoroughly in uncontaminated water and dispose of internal organs before consumption. 

Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched, according to SWDH. If you choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking. 

For more information on SWDH’s health advisory, click HERE. 

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