News from the DNR Office of Communications

Young Angler Catches State Record Muskellunge

Mercersville, Md. (May 10, 2011) - A 12 year-old West Virginia boy has caught a 31.75 pound muskellunge, setting a new State record.

On April 14, Kenneth Files of Falling Waters, W. Va., and his father were fishing in the Potomac River, which was in a flood stage. Kenneth spotted an eddy and cast a large white plastic grub lure into the stained waters and a large fish took the bait. He eventually steered the fish, measuring 45 inches long with an astounding girth of 24 inches, into shallow waters. Kenneth and his father registered their catch at the Maryland Fishing Challenge Award Center at Wolf’s On the Square in Williamsport. After getting an approximate weight, it appeared that the fish could be a Maryland State record. The Files iced the fish until they could get it to a State-certified scale at a local feed and grain store.

“The waters of the upper Potomac River support a vibrant, self-sustaining muskie fishery that has gained popularity with anglers,” said Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Biologist John Mullican, who verified the species and weight of the fish. “With the success of the pure-strain muskie, tiger muskies have not been stocked since 2006, and few of the sterile hybrids remain. Muskies are sometimes referred to as ‘the fish of a thousand casts.’ Anglers typically fish for many hours to catch one. Kenneth's record muskie was a female estimated to be 11 years old.”

The previous muskellunge record of 28.25 pounds was caught in 2004 by Matt Deal in the Upper Potomac.

Kenneth and other Maryland anglers who register a citation-award eligible fish will receive free admission to the grand finale of the 2011 Maryland Fishing Challenge during the Maryland Seafood Festival at Sandy Point State Park on September 10. Participants should bring their eligible fish to an authorized citation award center (certain tackle shops and charter boats) to receive an entry ticket and invitation to the event. For details, go to

To keep on top of the fishing action in Maryland, check in online with the DNR’s Angler’s Log and weekly fishing reports—

   May 10, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at