Man snags whopping 157-pound paddlefish in Oklahoma lake

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Justin Hamlin; Photo courtesy: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

Justin Hamlin; Photo courtesy: Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – It was the catch of a lifetime for a man fishing at Keystone Lake on Valentine’s Day.

During a guided trip on the lake, Justin Hamlin snagged an estimated 157-pound behemoth paddlefish.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, the fish would surpass the current world record by more than an estimated 10 pounds. It would have also smashed the state record of 132 pounds.

However, wildlife officials say for more than a decade, state regulations have required all paddlefish caught on Mondays and Fridays to be released immediately to “help protect these unique fish from overharvest.”

Therefore, the fish was not eligible to be recorded as a state and world record.

The fish was released back into the lake “for someone to catch again,” the wildlife department said on Facebook.

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