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Man breaks Missouri’s American eel record by over 2 pounds

RIPLEY COUNTY, Mo. – The Missouri state American eel record has been broken by a Ripley County man.

The Missouri Department of Conservation said Carlin Allison was catfishing on the Current River on July 26 when he happened to reel in a 6-pound, 15-ounce eel on his pole-and-line.

“I was using skipjack bait, and originally thought I was pulling in a catfish,” Allison said. “My buddy and I were out at about 3 that morning, so it was dark outside and I couldn’t see that well, but it put up one heck of a fight!”

He said he was unsure what to do with the eel at first, but his friend knew immediately that this could be a record.

The eel was weighed by an MDC-certified scale in Doniphan, Missouri. The previous record was set in 1993 when a 4-pound, 8-ounce eel was caught on the Meramec River.

“I knew we had eel in Missouri, but never that big,” Allison said. “I really don’t know how to feel about holding this state record. I guess I’ve got bragging rights!”

The American eel is a Species of Conservation Concern in Missouri. Their harvest is regulated under the Wildlife Code of Missouri.