Minnesota Man Catches 112 Year Old Bigmouth Buffalo, The Oldest Freshwater Fish Ever Caught

A person holding a fish
Alec Lackmann

What was going on back in 1909?

Theodore Roosevelt turned the presidency over to William Howard Taft, U.S. Troops had just withdrawn from Cuba ending the Spanish American War, Congress officially outlawed opium, the first college based nursing school was founded, the first commercial and military airplanes were sold, and the first pennies with Abraham Lincoln on them were minted.

Oh yeah, and this fish that is still swimming around in Minnesota was born.

At a confirmed 112 years old, the bigmouth buffalo hooked by NDSU researcher Alec Lackmann, shattered previously existing maximum age estimates for the species. According to Outdoor News, it is now believed to be the oldest age-validated freshwater fish in the world.

Bigmouth buffalo are the largest species of “sucker” fish in North America. They are native to many of the major river basins in the U.S. and Canada.

This sucker was discovered as part of a research project lead by North Dakota State University. Prior to the discovery of this crazy old fish, it was estimated the bighead buffalo typically only lived to be around 26 years old at most. That estimate was based on a 1998 research project focused on the fish.

In this more recent study, the North Dakota State University team gathered 386 bigmouth buffalo from Minnesota waters. Fish were aged based on specific physical characteristics and their methods were verified by radiocarbon dating experiments.

The five oldest fish in the study were all more than 100 years old, although many of the fish studied exceeded 80 years old.

I mean, some people can’t keep a goldfish alive for more than a few months, meanwhile these bigmouth buffalos are swimming around past century mark.

Nature man, it never ceases to amaze.

A man holding a fish
NDSU
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