It’s a hybrid crappie.

I know a lot of fishermen who will be surprised to find out that DNA analysis indicates the Illinois-record crappie Ryan Povolish caught March 28 from Kinkaid Lake is a hybrid.

Most of us thought the 4-pound, 8.8-ounce fish (18 1/8th inches long, girth of 16 1/4 inches) was a black crappie.

But fisheries chief Dan Stephenson dropped a quick email this morning with the surprising news:

We have confirmation from two geneticists that the new state record crappie is a hybrid. Male white and female black. I received word late yesterday and informed the angler, Mr Povolish.  The fish had the appearance of a pure black crappie but that’s why we do the testing. Testing included both nuclear DNA and mitochondrial DNA.

You gotta love science.

Marcus Miller caught the previous Illinois-record hybrid crappie (4.52 pounds) from a Jefferson County farm pond on May 14, 2008.

So John Hampton keeps the Illinois-record black crappie (4-8), which he caught from Rend Lake on May 15, 1976.

Click here for the set-up story on the Povolish’s catch.