From April through November 2023, Kansas angler Bobby Parkhurst's huge white crappie reigned as the state record holder at over four pounds. But that all came crashing down when the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks (KDWP) showed up at Parkhurst's home and seized the prized fish from his freezer.
The white crappie in question weighed in at 4.07 pounds, beating out the previous record, which had held for the last sixty years and weighed 4.02 pounds. Parkhurst caught the crappie in a small public reservoir near Manhattan, Kansas, in March of 2023. At the time, it was believed that the fish was submitted to the KDWP for record consideration following the correct process, which included measurement with KDWP's assistant director of fisheries John Reinke, who inspected the fish and confirmed its weight.
The KDWP announced Parkhurst's fish as the new state record in April. Shortly after, the KDWP received a tip about the fish, which prompted them to launch an investigation. KDWP Public Information Officer Nadia Marji said that Parkhurst's record was removed from the record books after the agency seized and reviewed the fish.
"Upon further review by KDWP officials, the crappie caught by Parkhurst could not be confirmed; therefore, the previous record for Kansas' largest crappie still stands (Miller, 1964)," the press release read.
The reason came down to Parkhurst's application; namely, if it had been filled out accurately from the beginning, the crappie never would have made the books to begin with, according to Marji.
"There was not an error in the verification process," Marji said. "Rather, information supplied to the Department by the angler via his written application form was not 'true and correct.'"
Marji clarified: The application alleged the fish weighed 4.07 pounds. Upon re-examination, this could not be replicated [or] verified by the Department. Why the department did not verify the weight themselves at the time the fish was submitted is unknown.
Parkhurst's crappie was officially stripped from the record books Nov. 14, and the 1964 crappie reinstated at the state record.
The disgraced angler took to social media to express his frustration.
"I caught that fish legally and honestly," Parkhurst wrote on Facebook. "These officers are bullies and don't need to be game wardens. They are dishonest. I went through all the bells and whistles as I was supposed to do. They certified and gave me the master angler award. I waited the 30 days that they by law have to wait for all this investigation to be done. These officers came to my house unlawfully and took my fish after the kdwp announced me State record holder. They have now slandered my name. The officers are dishonest and should be held accountable."
READ MORE: Angler Finds Massive Crappie Under a Dock
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