JEFFERSON CITY, Mo – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirms Josh Lawmaster of La Russell is the first state-record holder of 2022 after shooting an 8-pound, 5-ounce quillback from Table Rock Lake. Lawmaster was bowfishing March 15 when he shot the fish. His current record breaks the previous record of 7-pounds, 10-ounces set in 2015.
Lawmaster said he was out with his bowfishing team the day he shot the record.
“We were actually fishing for common carp that day when I had just come across this little dude,” said Lawmaster. “We knew it was pretty good size, but it wasn’t until the next morning we were thinking about it and decided to contact the department.”
Quillback is a non-game species that’s often confused with river carpsucker. This species is widely distributed, and most common in the clearer prairie streams of central and northeastern Missouri. It’s also fairly common in the upper Mississippi River and in large reservoirs of the Ozark Uplands.
MDC staff verified the fish’s weight on a certified scale at MDC’s Southwest Regional Office in Springfield.
“I wasn’t at all expecting to get a state record, so it’s pretty neat,” said Lawmaster. “Now I can say I actually accomplished something!”
Missouri state record fish are recognized in two categories: pole-and-line and alternative methods. Alternative methods include: trotline, throwline, limb line, bank line, jug line, gig, bow, crossbow, underwater spearfishing, snagging, snaring, grabbing, or atlatl.