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Angler Catches World Record King Salmon

May 19, 1985

SOLDOTNA, Alaska (AP) _ It’s no fish story - Les Anderson’s king salmon weighed in at 97 pounds on certified scales, a world-record catch.

Anderson, 68, netted the fish early Friday in the Kenai River, one of Alaska’s most famous salmon streams.

The Soldotna resident was fishing from a boat near the river’s mouth when the salmon struck his lure. He played out the 25-pound test fishing line as his partner Bud Lofstedt maneuvered the motorboat upstream.

″I don’t know how long we chased him. I thought we were going to lose him, so we just kept working him,″ Anderson said. ″I knew it was a big one when we couldn’t fit it into the net.″

This weekend envious anglers congratulated Anderson.

″He’s a lucky, lucky guy,″ said Bob Penney, president of the Kenai River Sportfishing Association. ″And what a wonderful boast for the state. But that poor river will be full of people now.″

Certified scales showed the salmon to be 97 pounds, 4 ounces, said Dave Nelson, state Department of Fish and Game biologist. It measures 58 inches long and 371/4 inches around, he said.

Anderson’s catch is more than four pounds heavier than the current world record for king salmon caught by hook and line. A 93-pound king was caught in June 1977 in southeast Alaska by Howard Rider of Juneau, fish and game officials said.

To count as an official world record, Anderson’s catch still must be registered on three certified scales, his line must be tested, and affidavits must be signed by him and a witness.

The biggest recorded king salmon caught by any means in Alaska was a 126- pound fish caught in a fish trap near Petersburg in 1949.

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