DEC announces tie for state record pumpkinseed

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New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that the state record for a pumpkinseed has officially been tied by a catch on the Black River earlier this year.

This was announcing on Sunday November 15, 2020, by DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos

Seggos stated that “It took some time, but I want to personally congratulate Jordan Tontarski, the angler who caught the pumpkinseed last winter in Jefferson County, tying a state record set 25 years ago.”

“New York has some of the most outstanding year-round angling opportunities in the nation and we encourage residents and visitors alike to enjoy this relaxing and family-friendly sport,” he added.

Tontarski caught the pumpkinseed last January while ice fishing on the Black River near Watertown.

He had a feeling his catch would be a contender in the New York State Winter Classic Fishing Tournament and brought the fish to Chaumont Hardware for an official weigh-in.

It came in with physical features of both pumpkinseed and the bluegill sunfish species.

Tontarski brought the fish to DEC’s Region 6 Office for biologists to examine, but the verdict remained inconclusive. Seeking a final answer, he drove his mystery sunfish across the state to Albany for identification by ichthyologists at the New York State Museum.

The recently completed DNA test concluded the fish was a pure pumpkinseed, officially tying the state record set in 1994 by R. Kennard Mosher in Indian Lake, Hamilton County.

Tontarski submitted details of his winning catch to DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks state record fish.

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