The spring of 2019 was a busy time for DGIF’s State Record Committee. The committee reviewed and certified new state records for brook trout caught by hook-and-line and gar captured with archery gear. On March 12th, Thomas Garth from Standardsville, Virginia landed a 5 pound, 15 ounce brook trout from Cub Run in Page County. Mr. Garth caught the trophy-sized trout with a fly rod using a minnow as bait. The fish measured 20 ¼ inches and was officially weighed at Martin’s Grocery in Harrisonburg, Virginia. After biologist verification and review by the State Record Committee, Mr. Garth’s catch was certified and is currently recognized as the Virginia State Record Brook Trout. The brook trout surpassed the long held record of 5 pounds, 10 ounces caught by Greg Orndorff in 1987 from Big Stony Creek.
On April 26th, Blake Deal from Nathalie, Virginia, arrowed a 21 pound, 13 ounce longnose gar with archery gear from Lake Gaston in Mecklenburg County. The massive gar measured 48 ¾ inches in length with a girth of 19 inches. Mr. Deal captured the fish while bowfishing near the Interstate 85 overpass and had the fish officially weighed at Bobcat’s Bait and Tackle in Clarksville, Virginia. Mr. Deal’s catch was verified by a DGIF biologist, reviewed by the State Record Committee and is now recognized as the Virginia Archery Fishing State Record Gar. Jonathan Owen and Joseph Baer were co-holders of the previous record with each angler separately capturing longnose gar weighing 19 pound, 14 ounces. Mr. Owen’s fish was caught in 2016 from the Chickahominy River while Mr. Baer’s fish was captured in 2018 from the Rappahannock River.
DGIF would like to publicly acknowledge and congratulate Mr. Garth and Mr. Deal on their tremendous catches.