Rare Piebald Blue Catfish Caught and Released Back into Mississippi River

Chad Hester, together with his friend, was overnight fishing in the Mississippi River in Missouri when they caught a very rare catfish that put them into shock. “I freaked out,” he said. “I was like ‘Holy cow.’” Hester was using Asian carp as bait, and he caught a “one-in-a-million” piebald blue catfish.

Piebalds look like ordinary blue catfish, but their white and black markings make them distinct. Their appearance puts them at a disadvantage in the wild as it allows them to be more obvious to predators, making them rare.

After getting the fish, Hester immediately took photos of the piebald blue catfish with himself and weighed it at 36 pounds. Then, he recorded a video of him releasing the fish back to the river.

Hester said, “That way he can spread his genes in the wild, and somebody else might have the opportunity to catch him.” He plans to hire someone to create a replica of it so that he can hang it on his living room wall.

Image: Chad Hester

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