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Published June 10, 2013, 10:36 AM

Testing determines record North Dakota fish is a saugeye

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Wildlife officials have used genetic testing to determine the species of a record fish caught in the Yellowstone River in northwestern North Dakota.

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Wildlife officials have used genetic testing to determine the species of a record fish caught in the Yellowstone River in northwestern North Dakota.

Dan Faiman, of Fairview, Mont., caught the 12-pound fish early this year. It had identifying characteristics of both a walleye and a sauger, so genetic material was sent to a lab. The testing determined the fish is a saugeye — a cross between the two, according to the state Game and Fish Department.

"The fish has pretty strong blotches like a sauger and lacks the prominent white tip on the tail (like a walleye)," Scott Gangl, leader of the Game and Fish Fisheries Management Section, told the Grand Forks Herald. "By the time the fish came to Bismarck for me to verify, the blotches had faded, and it looked like a walleye to me. But the angler convinced us to send in the genetic material anyway and turned out to be correct."

Faiman's catch broke the previous North Dakota saugeye record by 4 ounces. That fish was caught in September 1984 on Lake Sakakawea.

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