Henry Liebman was deep-sea fishing recently off the coast of Alaska when he hooked one for the record books.
Not only did Liebman haul in a nearly 40 pound shortraker rockfish, one of the largest ever recorded, but he was astounded to discover that his catch is likely to be about 200 years old.
Officials at the Alaska Department of Fish and Game are able to determine the age of a shortraker fish by counting the rings that appear along its ear bone.
The current record for the oldest fish caught off Alaskan seawaters is 175 years old.
If this fish was hatched back in 1813, it has been swimming in ocean waters for more than 66 years before the electric light bulb was invented, for almost 50 years before the start of America’s Civil War, and before the continent of Antarctica was discovered.
From Yahoo! News:
Troy Tidingco, Sitka area manager for the state Department of Fish and Game, said the fish is still being analyzed but he believes it is at least 200 years old. Tidingco said that would beat the current record of 175 years. Researchers are able to determine the age of a shortraker by the number of growth rings along its ear bone.
When Liebman’s catch was first swimming around as a hatchling, America only had 18 states. The occupant of the White House at this fish’s birthdate was President James Madison. The fish, which has huge bulging eyes and a salmon-like pink tinge, is approximately four feet long. Liebman reports he wants to have it stuffed and mounted for his wall.
James Madison was president of the United States (which consisted of 18 total states)
Antarctica had not yet been discovered (1820)
The fish was already 48 years old when the Civil War began (1861)
The fish was 66 years old when the lightbulb was invented (1879)
Man catches 200-year-old fish in Alaska
Man catches 200-year-old, 40-pound fish