Black Drum Disqualified
(03/97) TRENTON --- A black drum
caught in Delaware Bay by Walter Frankowski of Browns Mills,
Burlington County, has been disqualified from the New Jersey
State Record Fish Program.
Frankowski's application to the Department
of Environmental Protection (DEP) indicated the fish weighed
160 pounds when he caught it May 15. The DEP's Division
of Fish and Wildlife awarded him the state record in June.
The record was disqualified last week following
an investigation by the division's Bureau of Law Enforcement
that found the fish was improperly weighed at the Yardville
Supply Company in Hamilton Township, Mercer County. The
fish was weighed in an ice-filled cooler on a truck scale
that has a margin of error of 40 pounds. In addition, the
weighmaster who signed the record-fish certification had
an expired license and did not witness the weighing.
The Department of Law and Public Safety
- Division of Consumer Affairs' Office of Weights and Measures
(OWM) is investigating Yardville Supply Company's weighing
"Proper weighing procedures are critical
to maintaining the integrity and validity of the New Jersey
State Record Fish Program," said DEP Commissioner Bradley
M. Campbell. "In light of this unfortunate situation,
we are modifying the Record Fish and Skillful Angler programs
to clarify the application requirements and weight certification
In addition to Frankowski's Record Fish
Program application, his submission to the Skillful Angler
Program also has been rejected. The largest 2003 skillful
angler entry for black drum so far this year is 97 pounds
caught from Delaware Bay in June.
The state record black drum now reverts
to a 105-pound fish caught in 1995 by George Newett at Slaughter
Beach on Delaware Bay.
The Record Fish Program honors the largest
species of fish ever caught in the state, while the Skillful
Angler Program honors the largest species of fish caught
each year. Both programs have a specific list of eligible
freshwater and saltwater species and are based on weight
alone (there are no line classes). Scale certification documentation,
specifically the Certificate of Inspection/Test Report and
Registration Certificate issued by OWM as well as a weighmaster's
signature are necessary for the Record Fish Program. The
Skillful Angler Program requires weigh-in at an accredited
establishment with a witness' signature. Other rules apply
for both programs. For more information or to request an
application, call 609-633-7768. Visit the Division's website
for a complete list of state record fish.