Media Archive

Albert's legwork nets record for salmon

Article from Bangor Daily News, Thursday, June 15, 2006

By John Holyoke
Staff Writer

When Jim Albert of Glenburn heard about the huge salmon that was caught in Aroostook County last winter, he didn't have the same reaction many of us did.

Keith Ouellette's landlocked salmon, which weighed in at 12.78 pounds, was subsequently recognized as a world record in the category for ice fishing with a tip-up.

"I was a little disappointed," Albert admitted on Wednesday.

That's because every time Albert looked up at his wall, he saw the mount of a fish (also caught on an ice-fishing tip-up) that was even bigger.

Albert caught his landlocked salmon on Feb. 15, 2002 while fishing on Schoodic Lake. It weighed a whopping 13 pounds, 3 ounces, measured 34 inches long (compared to 30 inches for Ouellette's fish) and had a girth of 20 3/4 inches.

Unfortunately for Albert, the folks at National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame - the outfit that ratifies such records - were never notified.

Albert quickly got to work.

"To be honest with you, I didn't expect anything to be done with this," he said, explaining that the hall of fame normally requires anglers to submit fish for recognition within 90 days. Sometimes, however, exceptions are made ... as they were in this case.

Albert recently learned that his landlocked salmon has been recognized as the new world record, even though he caught it more than four years ago.

"I had to do a lot of legwork," Albert said. "I had to find the scale it was weighed on, and then found the two guys who weighed my fish and got sworn statements from them. I had to take it up to [the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife] in Bangor and a bunch of biologists looked at it up there."

Then he took it to biologist Nels Kramer at the DIF&W office in Enfield for further study.

Kramer took scale samples and determined the lunker was just six years old when it was caught. Ouellette's record was a 10-year-old fish.

Albert also sent a three-page letter outlining his situation, and explained that the weight he listed may have been conservative.

The reason: Albert initially weighed the salmon on his own scale, but wasn't sure how accurate the weight was. Since an ice-fishing derby on Schoodic began the next day, he took the fish there to take advantage of the certified scales.

"That fish weighed 13 pounds, 3 ounces, 26 hours after it was caught," Albert said. "Who knows what it weighed when it came out of the lake."

Albert, whose friends called this newspaper to vouch for the fish after news of Ouellette's catch circulated, said he was pleased to find out he'd set a world record. But he said others might get even a bigger kick out of it.

"It's pretty neat," he said. "But I think all my friends are probably happier than I am."

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NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.