Kansas State Hunting Record filled with steel weights

Kansas State Hunting Record filled with steel weights

Context: The video above was posted on February 2.

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas law enforcement and wildlife officials have released new information in a fishing controversy in the state.

Initial reports

Earlier this month, KSNT 27 News followed up with Bobby Parkhurst and officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) after it was discovered that a new record fish caught by Parkhurst in November 2023 had been removed. The new state record was initially announced , which weighed 4.07 pounds, was 18 inches long and 14 inches in diameter, was set in April last year, but has since been replaced by the previous record set in 1964.

A KDWP KSNT 27 News investigation discovered that the fish was removed from the state records list due to the information in Parkhurst’s application not being “true and correct.” At the time, Parkhurst claimed he had completed his application correctly.

Controversy update

On Friday, February 16, PKK spokesperson Nadia Marji issued an update on the hunting record controversy. In a press release sent to KSNT 27 News, she said KDWP received a report from an eyewitness who claimed the fish initially weighed 3.73 pounds.

“To maintain the integrity of KDWP’s state registration program, KDWP Game Wardens met with the angler who voluntarily submitted his fish for re-examination,” Margie said. “When employees used a portable metal detector to check the fish, the device detected the presence of metal.”

KDWP game wardens took the fish to the Topeka Zoo and Conservation Center for further study, Margie said. There, they used X-rays to examine the supposed cup and found that it contained two steel ball bearings.

As a result of this development, state wildlife officials have removed the fish from the registration list on the KDWP website. The previous state record was returned to Frank Miller of Eureka, Kansas, set in 1964. Parkhurst’s crappie has since been returned to him with the conclusion of the investigation.

The results of the investigation have been sent to the Shawnee County Prosecutor’s Office, Margie said. When asked if any Kansas laws could be applied to this case, Marji pointed to KSA 21-5824 which relates to providing false information. Under this law, creating false information is a “felony of the eighth degree, a non-personal felony.”

Katie Garceran with the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office confirms that after investigating the matter, there is not enough evidence to prosecute the case.

The discovery of steel weights in white crappie submitted to KDWP bears similarities to a similar case in 2022 in which two men were accused of stuffing lead weights into fish during a fishing tournament in Ohio. The fishermen were later sentenced to ten days in prison along with other penalties in 2023.

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