Man reels in monster, record-breaking catch in Oklahoma

Record-breaking bighead carp (Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation)

An Oklahoma man reeled in a massive, 118-pound bighead carp last week, breaking the state record while also helping to eradicate an invasive species.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, anglers have been asked to help remove invasive bighead carp from Grand Lake, one of the state’s largest lakes in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. The carps’ feeding habits put them in direct competition with native species like paddlefish, bigmouth buffalo mussels and more.

Bryan Baker with Spoonbill Wreckers delivered in a big way with his nearly 120-pound catch.

"Oklahoma anglers have answered the call!" the agency said on its Facebook page.

READ MORE: Wyoming angler reels in 2 record-breaking fish in 2-week span

Bighead carp are natives of the large rivers of eastern China and were first brought to the U.S. in 1972, according to the Oklahoma wildlife department. A private fish farmer in Arkansas imported them to improve water quality and increase fish production in culture ponds. They first started appearing in open public waters in the early 1980s.  

Officials say if you catch one, don’t return it to the water.