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Uncertified world record muskie boated and released in Mille Lacs Lake by DNR biologists

Mille Lacs Band DNR Aquaculture Biologist Keith Wiggins-Kegg holds a potential record-setting muskie caught during recent electrofishing activities on the lake. Courtesy of the Mille Lacs Band DNR1 / 2
Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe DNR Aquaculture Biologist Keith Wiggins-Kegg holds a potential record-setting muskie caught during recent electrofishing activities on the lake. Courtesy of the Mille Lacs Band DNR2 / 2

Mille Lacs Band DNR biologists say they may have boated a world-record muskie during electrofishing activity this past spring on Mille Lacs Lake.

While engaged in spring electrofishing activities for walleye, DNR Aquaculture Biologist Keith Wiggins-Kegg and an electroshocking team found a giant muskie was also within the shockwaves.

“We were not looking for muskie,” said Wiggins-Kegg in a news release. “That wasn’t our objective.”

Wiggins-Kegg said he saw the giant fish surface and he and the team immediately boated it. A length measurement was taken and they quickly snapped a couple of photos before gently releasing the muskie. The team watched as the muskie swam away safely. The muskie measured 61-1/2 inches. The world record for a hooked muskie is 60-1/4 inches caught in Hayward, Wis., in 1949. The state record for muskie is 56-7/8 inches caught on Pelican Lake in 2016. The state record for muskie using a fly rod measured 57 inches, caught on Mille Lacs Lake in 2015.

The team knew this fish was unusually large — even for a muskie. The team’s main objective was to release what they are speculating as a female, back to the water so she could live out her life cycle.

“We didn’t have a large enough scale on board to weigh that big of a fish,” said Carl Klimah, Mille Lacs Band DNR fisheries manager, in a news release. “A fish like this can weigh between 55-75 pounds, but we will never know for sure. We can say that it was huge fish and hope that someone catches it again so we know.”

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