Video: Teen’s Goal to Catch 63 Recognized Species of Minnesota Fish

Recent high school grad Cayden Hutmacher is on a quest to catch all 63 fish species recognized by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Video: Teen’s Goal to Catch 63 Recognized Species of Minnesota Fish

Perhaps this 4-minute YouTube video captured my attention because the angler profiled in the piece, recent high school grad Cayden Hutmacher, lives in my home state of Minnesota.

As you’ll see, Cayden is an avid angler, and his goal is to catch at least one of each fish species on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ record list. There are 63 recognized species. To date, Cayden has caught 54 species, meaning he has nine to go. Last fall, he added one of the rarest on the list, the American eel (photo above).

Just for fun, I went through the list to see where I stood. I’ve been fishing in Minnesota since 1968-ish (I’ve seen pics of me fishing at approximately age 3.) Some of the species are obscure and/or closely related, so I can’t be 100 percent sure, but I’m sitting at 29, 30 or 31 species.

For example, there are three types of bullhead (black, brown and yellow) in Minnesota. I think I’ve caught two of the three, but I might have caught all of them at some point. Not sure. I’ve caught buffalo, but have I caught both the bigmouth buffalo and smallmouth buffalo? Not sure. The same is true for redhorse (five types); I’ve caught a lot of redhorse but can’t be sure of the exact species breakdown.

I could scratch off another handful if I could include the same trout and salmon species that I’ve caught in other states or provinces, but that would be breaking the rules.

Will Cayden ever achieve his goal of catching all 63 Minnesota species? In my opinion, it’ll be extremely difficult. As explained in the video, some of the species are not common to catch on hook and line, even if you travel to the part of the state where they are known to exist in the highest numbers.


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