How Old is a really Old Fish? I recently have encountered or heard of some Grand Daddy Fish!
On a recent trip to Alaska, we went Rock Fish jigging. These several, tasty, deep-water fish species, were in waters deeper than 100 feet. We caught several species but were most impressed with a guests Yelloweye!
One lucky guest caught a 17 ½ pounder! This giant goldfish was warty, spiny, finny, and knobby. I guess we would be too if we were as old as this specimen. The Green Rocks Lodge staff aged it at 150 years old! I am not sure if I would have killed such a Senior Fish if I knew it’s age. What a life this fish must have had. How many times did it almost get caught? What almost caught it? What stories could this aged fish tell?
I must say that Rock Fish are delicious! They must get sweeter with age.
Another OLD FISH was recently caught in Minnesota and holds the record of being the oldest freshwater fish. Bigmouth Buffalo Fish age to well beyond 100 years old! A local Biologist was aging Buffalos caught by fishermen and found several Oldie Goldie’s. One of these senior fish was 112 years old. This female was caught in Crystal Lake near Pelican Rapids in Otter Trail County.
This 112-year-old Grandmother was 22 pounds and in great shape. At 34 inches long this fish was not as big as they can get. Another Buffalo female that was caught aged in at 88 years but was 41 inches and 42 pounds!
Fish are aged using radiocarbon dating techniques. Younger fish can be aged using the otoliths on the bone in a fish’s ear. These cells have rings on them just like a tree, which can be counted.
Buffaloes are often considered a carp or trash fish. These fish are important tin the ecosystem. They compete with other carp and invasive species. Juvenile Buffaloes look like small shiners and are important forage to other predatory fish.
Understanding our aged fish can help us to better manage and protect them.
Catch an OLD ONE!!!
For more Montana Grant, find him aging at www.montanagrantfishing.com.