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Joe Manchin III, Governor

Frank Jezioro, Director


News Release : August 24, 2006


Hoy Murphy, Public Information Officer (304) 558-3381

Contact: Zack Brown, Wildlife Resources Section (304) 675-0871

New State Record Longnose Gar

photo of Shelby Searls of Henderson holding the record longnose garA West Virginia state record longnose gar was caught by Mr. Shelby Searls of Henderson , according to the Division of Natural Resources. Searls caught the 52.25-inch, 16.42-pound fish from the Kanawha River in Mason County on August 20, 2006 , using a creek chub for bait. Searls’ catch establishes a new West Virginia record for length. The previous length record for longnose gar was a 50.63-inch fish caught by Brian Klug from Fish Creek in 2003. The current weight record for longnose gar still stands at 19.08-pounds (50.5-inch), caught by Michael Shan Casey. Casey’s fish was caught in 1993, also from the Kanawha River .

“Most large waterbodies in the state contain longnose gar populations. The Kanawha, the Ohio and the backwater areas associated with these large rivers are great places to start when attempting to catch a large gar,” according to Zack Brown , District Fisheries Biologist.

Anglers who believe that they have caught a state record fish should check the record listing in the 2006 Fishing Regulations brochure. The brochure also outlines the procedure to follow for reporting their catch. This information is also available online at


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