The Department of Natural Resources confirmed the catch of a new state-record black buffalo on Thursday, Sept. 6.
The fish, a member of the sucker family, was caught by Bryan DeGoede of Kalamazoo, Mich., on Wednesday, Sept. 5, on the Kalamazoo River in Allegan County at 11:50 p.m. The fish weighed 37.4 pounds and measured 39.3 inches. DeGoede was bowfishing when he landed the record fish.
The record was verified by Jay Wesley, a DNR fisheries manager for Southwest Michigan.
The previous state-record black buffalo was caught by Brad Nietering of Nunica on the Grand River (Bruce’s Bayou) in Ottawa County on May 19, 2004. That fish weighed 33.25 pounds and measured 36.5 inches.
This is the second state-record fish caught in Southwest Michigan this year. On May 22, Rodney Akey of Niles caught a 49.8-pound, 45.7-inch flathead catfish in the St. Joseph River.
State records are recognized by weight only. To qualify for a state record, fish must exceed the current listed state-record weight and identification must be verified by a DNR fisheries biologist.