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Nevada Record Carp on Virginia Lake

Nevada angler Brenden Burnham has proved that persistence pays off with his record-breaking carp. Burnham, 41, caught a 35 pound, 3-ounce carp that broke the previous record of 34 pounds, 10 ounces. 

Burnham regularly fishes at Virginia Lake and knew that there were big carp in the lake. Just three days before landing, the state record Burnham had four fish in one day that were trophy class. The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) considers carp weighing 15 pounds or more to be trophy class. Burnham said he caught and released 46 trophy-size carp in 2019, and six so far this year.

Burnham fought the carp for 45 minutes before he waded more than 10 feet from shore because the fish was so big it was bottoming out. By then, a crowd had gathered and when the fish was pulled in an onlooker called NDOW for an agency biologist to come to score the carp. 

Because he didn’t want to risk the fish dying, Burnham kept it in a sling instead of transporting it. 

Brenden Burnham Nevada State Record Carp
Burnham kept the record carp in a sling to keep it from dying

Nevada Department of Wildlife rules for a fish to be considered in the Nevada Trophy Fish Program are as follows:

  1. Fish must be taken legally from Nevada waters.
  2. Weight is to be taken of whole fish before freezing.
  3. Length is to be measured from tip of nose to tip of tail.
  4. Measurements must be witnessed by two other persons, at least one of whom must not be a relative of angler entering contest.
  5. Angler must provide positive means of identifying the species of fish and include an adequate photograph.*
  6. Entry must be made within calendar year of date caught to be included in that year’s contest.
  7. If the fish being entered is a possible Nevada State Record, fish must be weighed on a scale which has been certified as accurate. The fish must be witnessed by a Nevada Department of Wildlife employee.
  8. An entry form must be submitted within 60 days of the fish being caught. To be considered for the Trophy Fish Book, all entries must be submitted by Jan. 31.

If you think you have a trophy on your hands contact the NDOW

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