Genetic Testing Confirms New State, Possible World Record Black Crappie

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has verified through genetic testing that the crappie caught from a Loudon county pond last month is indeed a black crappie and the new state record.

Lionel “Jam” Ferguson from the East Tennessee community of Philadelphia landed the 5 pounds, 7.68 ounces trophy fish on May 15. After a fisheries biologist visually identified the species and weight was verified with certified scales, a small fin clip was sent for genetic testing to confirm that the fish was not a hybrid. The previous state record for a black crappie was 4 pounds, 4 ounces caught in Brown’s Creek Lake by Clyde Freeman 33 years ago.

Ferguson’s catch also would qualify as the new International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record for black crappie, besting the current record by 7.68 ounces. The current record was caught from a private lake in Missouri by John Horstman in 2006. Ferguson has indicated that he plans to apply with the IGFA for the new world record.