How a DNA test got this fish into the State record books

How a DNA test got this fish into the State record books
Jordan Tontarski poses with his fish that ties a state pumpkinseed record (Source: New York D.E.C.)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - It’s a catch that didn’t break a record, but tied one. All it took was a DNA test to prove it.

Department of Environmental Conservation officials have announced that Jordan Tontarski of Watertown caught an impressive pumpkinseed weighing in at 1 lb. 9 oz. That’s the first fish of its kind to tie a state record set about 25 years ago.

It was caught back in January, while Tontarski was ice fishing on the Black River. Officials say Tontarski had a feeling the fish would perform well in the New York State Winter Classic Fishing Tournament.

There was only one problem. Tontarski had to prove the pumpkinseed was actually a pumpkinseed, because the fish shared physical attributes with the bluegill sunfish.

Officials say Tontarski drove his mystery fish to Albany, so scientists could perform a DNA test.

Now the results are in, and the fish has been determined to be 100% pumpkinseed.

Tontarski’s catch ties one by R. Kennard Mosher, who pulled an equally impressive pumpkinseed from Indian Lake in Hamilton County back in 1994.

Copyright 2020 WWNY. All rights reserved.