Catfish eaten before being verified can’t qualify for record

Sep 29, 2021, 2:42 AM | Updated: Sep 30, 2021, 5:34 am
FILE - This Aug. 21, 2021, file photo provided by Chris Braga, shows Ben Tomkunas holding a catfish...

FILE - This Aug. 21, 2021, file photo provided by Chris Braga, shows Ben Tomkunas holding a catfish he caught in Coventry, Conn., that was thought to have smashed a state record weighing 21.3-pounds. But uncertainty about the species of the catfish caught that was eaten before it could be vetted by authorities in August has led a Connecticut agency to withdraw its awarding of a new state record for largest white catfish. (Chris Braga via AP, File)

(Chris Braga via AP, File)

COVENTRY, Conn. (AP) — Uncertainty about the species of a massive catfish that was eaten before it could be vetted by authorities in August has led Connecticut to withdraw its awarding of a new state record.

Connecticut Fish and Wildlife wrote in a Facebook post on Monday that because it was not able to examine the actual fish, authorities cannot confirm it was a white catfish.

“Without the ability to examine the actual fish, identification is left to still images and videos, which have proven to be ambiguous and inconclusive to definitively identify the species of catfish in this case,” state Fish and Wildlife wrote, adding that it is not disputing the weight of the catch that was made on Aug. 21.

Ben Tomkunas, 25, of Coventry, who caught the 21.3-pound (9.66-kilogram) fish, said he gave it to his grandfather the morning after he caught it and it was eaten.

“I can’t believe that they think it’s OK to do this to someone,” Tomkunas told the Journal Inquirer. “It’s such an embarrassment.”

It can be difficult to distinguish between white catfish and channel catfish, which are generally larger.

The previous state record for a white catfish was a 12.7 pound (5.76 kilogram) fish. The International Game Fish Association has recorded the world record for a white catfish catch to be 19.3 pounds (8.75 kilograms) for a fish caught in 2005 in California.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesperson Will Healey urged anglers to keep any potentially record-breaking fish until authorities have confirmed its species. He acknowledged, in an email to the Journal Inquirer, that the initial announcement of a new state record was premature.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Judge rejects challenge to Southwest’s vaccine mandate

DALLAS (AP) — A federal judge has rejected a bid by pilots to block Southwest Airlines from imposing a vaccine mandate, saying the airline is within its power to require vaccination as a safety measure. U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn denied the request by the airline’s pilot union to issue a temporary restraining order against […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Concerts return, dining rooms open and Coke sales rebound

Coca-Cola Co. is getting its fizz back. Revenue jumped 16% to $10 billion in the third quarter as stadiums, movie theaters and other venues reopened around the world. That was ahead of Wall Street’s forecast. Analysts polled by FactSet expected revenue of $9.8 billion for the quarter. The Atlanta company also raised its revenue and […]
1 day ago
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg meets with Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven in Stockhol...
Associated Press

NATO’s Afghan mission hit by ‘mission creep,’ official says

BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO’s security operation in Afghanistan became a victim of “mission creep” as the military organization allowed itself to be dragged into helping rebuild the impoverished, conflict-torn country, the official leading a process of drawing lessons from the mission said on Wednesday. Assistant Secretary-General for Operations John Manza and NATO’s 30 deputy national […]
1 day ago
French President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Poland's President Andrzej Duda shake hands before a w...
Associated Press

EU court tells Poland to pay $1.2M a day in judicial dispute

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union’s top court has ordered Poland to pay 1 million euros a day ($1.2 million) over the country’s longstanding dispute with the bloc over judicial independence. The Wednesday ruling by the Court of Justice came after the the EU’s executive commission asked for “financial penalties” to ensure compliance with a […]
1 day ago
FILE - A McDonald's sign is shown in Philadelphia, Monday, April 26, 2021. McDonald’s reported st...
Associated Press

McDonald’s sales surged 14% as virus restrictions eased

McDonald’s reported stronger-than-expected sales in the third quarter, boosted by larger orders and higher prices on the menu. The company has had to raise prices like other major restaurant chains to cover rising costs of commodities and labor, but it may have dodged at least some of the most severe labor shortages that have dogged […]
1 day ago
First lady Jill Biden, left, listens as President Joe Biden, right, speaks to the 2020 and 2021 Sta...
Associated Press

Not a trick: No White House treats for Halloween this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Ghosts and goblins can scratch the White House from their trick or treating routes this year. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will be in Europe on Halloween and won’t be at the White House to help hand out candy and other treats. Instead, the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Catfish eaten before being verified can’t qualify for record