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Critics blast fisherman for keeping whopper

John Grubenhoff, 57, of Pasco, Wash., poses in Tri-Cities, Wash., with a record walleye he caught  Feb. 28. The egg-heavy female fish, weighing 20.32 pounds, measuring 35-1/2 inches long and 22-3/4 inches in girth, was caught in the Columbia River in McNary Pool near Tri Cities and is a Washington record.

John Grubenhoff, 57, of Pasco, Wash., poses in Tri-Cities, Wash., with a record walleye he caught Feb. 28. The egg-heavy female fish, weighing 20.32 pounds, measuring 35-1/2 inches long and 22-3/4 inches in girth, was caught in the Columbia River in McNary Pool near Tri Cities and is a Washington record. AP Photo/Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Pasco fisherman who caught a state record walleye is catching some barbed remarks from catch-and-release anglers.

The Spokesman-Review reports about one-fifth of its reader comments are critical.

They say John Grubenhoff should have released the egg-laden 20-pound female back into Lake Wallula so it could spawn and perhaps be caught again.

A fisheries manager with the state Fish and Wildlife Department, Bruce Bolding, defends Grubenhoff. Bolding says it doesn’t take many females to maintain a healthy population of walleyes. And he doesn’t begrudge Grubenhoff keeping a “fish of a lifetime.”

Bolding says the walleye population is under-fished in many Washington lakes and pools in the Columbia River.

Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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