Alec Lackmann, a North Dakota State University researcher was out on the water conducting research examining often overlooked freshwater fish species in Otter Tail County’s Crystal Lake in Minnesota. As a part of the research, the team was sampling the fish’s “otoliths”, ringed growths located within the skull of many fish species. Without going into the true nitty-gritty of it, biologists can determine a fish’s age by reading the otolith under a microscope, similar to reading tree rings to age trees. What’s most remarkable is that of the multiple fish caught in the study, a couple of specimens were over a century old, and the oldest tipped the scales (no pun intended) at 112 years old, making it the oldest freshwater fish ever recorded.
Featured photo from Alec Lackmann/NDSU