Michigan DNR announces new state-record cisco caught on Lake Ottawa


state record lake herring held by Michael Lemanski
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources Wednesday confirmed a new state-record fish for cisco (formerly known as lake herring). This marks the second state-record fish caught in 2017.The fish was caught Friday, June 9, at 10 a.m. by Michael Lemanski of Florence, Wisconsin, on Lake Ottawa in Iron County in the western Upper Peninsula. Lemanski was still-fishing with a homemade jig. The fish weighed 6.36 pounds and measured 21.8 inches.The record was verified by Jennifer Johnson, a DNR fisheries biologist in Crystal Falls.

The previous state-record cisco (lake herring) was caught by Robert Rogers of Hartford, Wisconsin, in 1992 while trolling the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay. That fish weighed 5.4 pounds and measured 25 inches.

“Although this fish was caught in June, we only recently verified it as a state record,” said Gary Whelan, the DNR’s fisheries research manager. “The reason for the delay stemmed from the fact we wanted to ensure this fish was not a hybrid between a cisco and a lake whitefish. These fish look extremely similar so we gathered DNA from the fish to test its compatibility with what we know about cisco. That test, done by Michigan State University, proved to be a match.”

State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.

To view a current list of Michigan state-record fish, visit michigan.gov/staterecordfish.

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