RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The hybrid “Saugeye” fish is still new to Virginia, but has made a big splash — quite literally. The Department of Wildlife Resources awarded their first ever record for the species recently when a Virginia man reeled in an impressive catch.
According to the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources, the saugeye is a member of the perch family. This species is a hybrid, and is created by crossing a female walleye with a male sauger — hence the name.
It is relatively new to the Commonwealth, with the first Saugeye being stocked in Virginia in 2013. You might be able to recognize the fish by its yellow sides, dark blotches and distinct spines on the dorsal fins.
Michael Miller, from Nathalie, Va., caught the first record Saugeye in the state recently while fishing at the Staunton River.
The fish weighed in at six pounds, was 26 inches long and had a girth of 14 inches.
After a Department of Wildlife Resources biologist and the State Record Committee verified and reviewed the fish, it was officially certified and recognized as the current Virginia State Record Saugeye.
This is the first entry and certified record for a Saugeye in Virginia since the species was added to the state record and trophy fish programs in 2020.