2020 will be remembered for a lot of negative things. But there is always a silver lining to any dark cloud. In the outdoor world, it was a year for three state records to be set in fishing.

March 15 marks the unofficial end to New York's fishing season. With several cool-water species beginning to spawn; northern pike, pickerel, tiger muskellunge and walleye are all off limits until until May 1. The New York DEC usually reflects back at this time and assesses the previous year's totals. Here are some of the highlights:

Photo Credit - Dec.gov
Photo Credit - Dec.gov

Jordan Tontarski tied the state record reeling in a 1lb 9oz pumpkinseed while ice fishing near Watertown on the Black River. His catch was made in January, although it took nine months to certify the feat. In question was the species of the fish. A visit to the New York State Museum for a DNA test confirmed it as a pumpkinseed.

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Jason Leusch, a mere 8-years-old, broke the state record for Rock Bass while fishing from the dock at the family's cottage in Port Bay on Lake Ontario. His parents where doing some yard work and Josh repeatedly yelled, "got a big one." His dad wasn't so sure until he laid eyes on the fish, it weighed 2-lbs even.

Photo Credit- Dec.gov

Morgan Fonzi of Gosport set the state record for White Bass with a 3 lb. 8 oz. catch on the Lower Niagara River near Lewiston in early May. What makes this story even more remarkable was he caught two bigger ones the day before, but didn't realize they were state record worthy.

The DEC recognizes more than just state record catches. There is the Annual Award, honoring the three heaviest catches of the year in 42 different species. Catch and Release commends anglers who return their qualifying catch to the water, in 21 major sportfish species.

You can see the award winners in all categories, check out the current state records, and get forms to submit an entry on the DEC's New York Angler Achievement Awards Program web page.

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