Kevin Deal of Tulsa holds a state record hybrid or a Canton Lake record striper
Canton Lake nearly produced the state record hybrid bass last year. On Wednesday, it was thought the lake had actually did it this year.
Kevin Deal, 32, of Tulsa landed this 24 pound, 1 ounce fish on Wedneday that originally was thought to be a striped bass hybrid. The state record is 23 pounds, 4 ounces that was caught at Altus-Lugert Lake by Paul Hollister.
Canton Lake is stocked with striped bass hybrids and Deal’s fish was assumed to be one. But on closer inspection, John Stahl, state fisheries biologist, said Thursday that he thinks the fish is a striped bass, even though stripers are rarely caught at Canton.
However, another fishery biologist thinks it might be a hybrid of a hybrid.
“The fish looks funny,” said Jeff Boxrucker, assistant chief of fisheries for the state Wildlife Department.
Hybrids are hatchery crosses of striped bass and white bass and similar in appearance. The tongue patches are the same on stripers and hybrids. Telling the difference requires measuring the thickness of the fish, Stahl said.
Hybrids have deeper bodies and shorter heads than stripers, but this fish appears to be split in those categories.
It’s going to take a tissue sample and a DNA test to determine if it is a hybrid or a striper. If it is somehow a hybridized version of a hybrid – such as a hybrid cross with a striper – it would still be considered a hybrid for the record books, unless state wildlife officials want to create a new species of fish.
So Deal either has a lake record striper or a state record hybrid.
Deal is hoping it’s a hybrid.
“The lake record would be a neat deal,” he said. “But it don’t compare to a state record.”
Oh, and the fish is still in the lake. When it was thought to be a state record hybrid, Deal was going to donate to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks.
But when suspicions turned that it was a striper, Deal returned the fish to Canton Lake on Thursday.