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Illinois-record crappie: Update while waiting on DNA analysis

Ryan Povolish with the Illinois-record crappie (either black or hybrid), he caught March 28, 2017 from Kinkaid Lake.
Credit: Les Winkeler/The Southern

What we know for certain is Ryan Povolish caught an Illinois-record crappie on Tuesday, March 28, from Kinkaid Lake.

What we don’t know yet is which record–black crappie or hybrid crappie–the 4-pound, 8.8-ounce crappie will be.

Fisheries chief Dan Stephenson emailed yesterday that fisheries biologist Shawn Hirst took a small piece of fin for verification as to hybrid or pure crappie. Stephenson did not know how long the lab process would take for analyzing.

Meanwhile, Povolish’s crappie is headed to the Bass Pro Shop in East Peoria. After the usual 30-day quarantine, it will be displayed in their aquarium.

The record for black crappie is one of the longest standing records of significance in Illinois, so I am glad the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be doing a DNA analysis.

John Hampton caught the standing Illinois-record black crappie (4-8) from Rend Lake on May 15, 1976. Marcus Miller caught the standing Illinois-record hybrid crappie (4.52 pounds) from a Jefferson County farm pond on May 14, 2008.

Hirst checked and weighed Povolish’s crappie. It is 18 1/8th inches long with a girth of 16 1/4 inches.

Les Winkeler, veteran outdoors columnist and sports editor for the The Southern, posted an initial report on the catch.

Povolish of Carbondale was fishing with Josh Jackson and working a weed bed in 6 feet of water with a Strike King jig, Winkeler wrote.

Final word, for now, goes to Stephenson.

“Regardless, it’s an incredible fish,” he emailed. “BTW- the next day [March 29] Shawn picked up a 3.5 pound white crappie in one of his nets. He said that would have been an amazing crappie if he hadn’t seen the one the day before.”

Big crappie are out there.

More to come.