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Darren Troseth with new state record lake sturgeon. (Submitted photo)

Minnesota has a new state record lake sturgeon so large that anglers had to drill five holes to fit the 6 1/2 foot long fish through the St. Croix River ice. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has certified the fish as a state catch-and-release record.

Early on in the effort to catch the fish on Feb. 9, record holder Darren Troseth knew he had something special on the line.

“I’ve seen a lot of big sturgeon in my life, but I was stunned when I got a look at it,” Troseth said.

Troseth and his fishing companion, John Kimble, were ice fishing on the St. Croix near Bayport. To get away from other anglers, they were at a location they had never fished before. When he hooked the record fish, Troseth was fishing out of a double hole he’d prepared. With his auger battery about to die, he was able to drill a third hole – but the fish still did not fit.

So Troseth took to Facebook to put out a call for help to anyone in the area with an auger. Within a few minutes, two anglers who Troseth and Kimble had never met before showed up with an auger and expanded the hole. Now with five holes, the sturgeon could barely fit through. With the help of his fishing companion, Troseth was able to land the lake sturgeon. He quickly measured the fish at 78 inches, took photos and returned the fish to the river to potentially be caught again another day.

Five DNR fisheries staff, two DNR conservation officers and the state record certification official reviewed Troseth’s state record fish application and supporting documents. After concluding that all requirements had been met and that the fish had been legally captured, the DNR officially certified Troseth’s sturgeon as the new state catch-and-release record.

The DNR announces new state records in news releases, on social media and on the DNR website. Find current records and guidelines for each type of state record at mndnr.gov/recordfish.

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