TORRINGTON - Wyoming has a new gizzard shad record thanks to the efforts of 15-year-old Torrington area angler Dawson Reifschneider. He caught his record fish out of the North Platte River near Torrington on June 25.
Reifschneider had been fishing the North Platte River the past several days for catfish and walleye and had caught a number of fish when the new record shad took his jig and crawler offering. He had never caught a gizzard shad before, but his fishing partner Logan Harris recognized the fish and said it was a big one and he should get it weighed. After weighing the fish on a scale at home, he went to the local supermarket where it was weighed on an official scale and confirmed as a new state record.
Reifschneider’s fish weighed in at 2.74 pounds, easily besting the previous record caught out of Glendo Reservoir in 2013 by nearly one tenth of a pound. Reifschneider’s fish was 19.25 inches long with a girth of 12 inches. The previous record was 18 inches in length with a 13-inch girth.
Gizzard shad are prolific spawners, and when small, serve as an excellent forage fish. Adult fish have been stocked in Glendo and Grayrocks reservoirs and their resulting spawn provides an excellent food source for walleye.
The world record gizzard shad weighed 4 lbs. 12 oz. and was caught in 2006 out of Lake Oahe in South Dakota.
To qualify for a new fish record, anglers need to get the fish weighed on a certified scale and have it verified by the Game and Fish Department. A listing of state record fish is on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov.
(Contact: Al Langston, (307) 777-4540)
(photo available upon request)