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State record fish caught in Otter Tail County

Eleven-year-old Austin Stoll heard the six-pound line scorching off his reel. Nearby, his dad Chris Stoll heard it, too, and both knew Austin had a big fish to battle on Sybil Lake in Otter Tail County.

By the time the battle was over March 9, Austin pulled up what is now certified as a new state record tullibee (also known as a cisco) weighing 5 pounds, 13 ounces, besting the previous record by 2 ounces that stood for almost 13 years.

To certify the tullibee as a record, they took it to be weighed on a certified scale at Essentia Health in Pelican Rapids after trying a local hardware store that was closed. Two impartial observers witnessed the weighing, and Austin and his dad brought the fish to be identified by two fisheries experts at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fergus Falls fisheries office.

There are 62 state records for fish. The five most recent records prior to Austin’s tullibee were golden redhorse in 2014, and then in in 2012 for the bowfin (dogfish), burbot (eelpout), river carpsucker and shovelnose sturgeon. Anglers who wait to go fishing until the May 9 opener can dream about reeling in the record walleye. That claim to fame is a 17-pound, 8-ounce giant pulled from the Seagull River at Saganaga Lake in Cook County in 1979.

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