CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Workers with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District caught a giant fish as they were conducting research.
Members of the Aquatic Ecology Team were in the Little Calumet River near the Halsted Street Bridge on Wednesday, when they netted the biggest fish they have ever caught - a nearly 40-pound carp swollen with eggs.
According to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, the 39.6 lb gravid (full of eggs) female common carp was netted by Sam Belcik, senior environmental technician, with Associate Aquatic Biologist Dustin Gallagher driving the electrofishing boat.
"The District has been fishing in the Chicago Area Waterway System since about 1974 to look at water quality issues. We are electro-fishing, so we use electricity to stun the fish and it brings the fish up to the surface and we weight, measure the fish and check their condition and then eventually release them," said Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Principal Environmental Scientist Jennifer Wasik.
This one was released as well, after being measured, weighed, and examined. It weighed in at 39.6 pounds and measured 38.4 inches long.
“It was pretty hard to lift out of the bucket and get it on the scale. It weighed more than our typical scale can actually measure and we had to use a tape measure because it didn’t fit on our measuring board," she said.
Wasik said they are also catching sunfish, catfish, bullhead, largemouth bass, and yellow perch - signs of good water quality.