The Michigan Department of Natural Resources confirmed the catch of a new state record flathead catfish last week in Cass County.
The catfish was caught Jan. 12 by Niles resident Dale Blakley on Barron Lake. It weighed 52 pounds and measured 46 inches.
Blakley told DNR officials he was ice fishing for crappies when he landed the catch. The record was verified by Brian Gunderman, a DNR fisheries biologist, at the Plainwell office.
The previous state-record flathead catfish was caught on the St. Joseph River in Berrien County in May 2012. That fish weighed 49.8 pounds and measured 45.7 inches. Prior to that, the record hadn’t been broken since 1943.
State records are recognized by weight only.