If you have been following the news in recent months, you may have heard about the giant freshwater fish known as the “king fish” or the “lake trout.” Native to North America, these fish can grow over 12 feet long and weigh over 30 pounds. Although these large fish are fairly common in the wild, it is illegal to catch and consume them in most states because they are considered “game fish.” Below, we will discuss the length and weight of a 30 pound king fish, along with some other information about these fish.
Length And Weight Of A 30 Lb King Fish
The length and weight of a king fish will vary depending on its sex and age. Males can reach 12–14 feet in length and weigh over 40 pounds, while females are typically shorter and weigh around 30 pounds. Juveniles, or fish that are just a few years old, can measure up to 8–9 feet in length and weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. The lifespan of a king fish is around 10–12 years.
It is illegal to catch a king fish in the majority of the United States, with the exception of Alaska and Maine. In these states, king fish are considered “baitfish” and can be purchased and eaten legally. Baitfish are usually smaller in size than the king fish and are not considered “game fish.” For the best chance of a legal purchase, make sure to check with your local fish and game department to see which species are considered “baitfish” and which are not.
King Fish Reproduction
Like many other fish species, king fish are sexually dimorphic, which means that they are larger in size and have more prominent jaw scales in males than in females. This is probably due to the fact that the male must be able to protect the female and their eggs from predators. King fish are a popular food source for bald eagles, which readily prey on these large fish. When the eagles eat a fat, juicy king fish, they are typically in the vicinity of a lake or stream, which is exactly how the fish became known as “lake trout.”
When the eagles eat a smaller fish, such as a carp or a perch, they are usually fishing from a boat or shoreline. This also means that the smaller the fish, the greater the chance it will be eaten by an eagle. Since it is illegal to sell or keep fish under 12 inches in length, any fish that is caught is usually donated to wildlife charities or eaten by friends and family.
King Fish Health
Like many other fish species, the health of the king fish is directly related to its environment and diet. The fish are usually found in freshwater lakes and streams and are primarily active at night. Though generally healthy, king fish should be kept clean by regularly changing the water in their tank.
The fish are an excellent source of high-quality protein, especially for children and adults with allergies or dietary restrictions. A 4-pound portion of king fish meat is comparable to a full chicken leg in terms of protein content and has fewer calories and less cholesterol than most common meat products. These large fish are also a rich source of vitamin D, which promotes strong bones and teeth.
Other Species Of Fish That Are Similar
While there is only one type of king fish, other fish species often mistaken for it include the marlin and the blackmouth catfish. The marlin is a popularly recognized fish that can grow to a considerable length. They are mainly found in the ocean and reach their greatest length around 10–11 feet. Marlins are not usually very aggressive and are often referred to as “stunningly beautiful” or “gentle giants.”
The blackmouth catfish is another fish often mistaken for the king fish. This particular type of catfish is known for having a black lips mask that makes it look like it is missing a few teeth. Many people confuse the blackmouth catfish with the king fish because of its similar appearance, but they are two different species; the blackmouth catfish only reaches 6–8 feet in length, which is less than half the size of the true king fish.
The Greenland shark is a gigantic filter-feeding fish that can grow to incredible lengths. Typically ranging from 14 to 18 feet in length, the Greenland shark is one of the ocean’s largest predators. Its long snout contains numerous rows of serrated teeth that allow them to grasp and retain their prey even after being caught in a large volume of water. Like many other fish species, the Greenland shark’s health is directly related to its environment and diet. Their teeth deteriorate quickly if they overuse them, which can cause the jaw to rot and become infected. The same thing can happen if the fish are fed a poor quality diet.
Though a great source of protein, the Greenland shark is dangerous to humans and other aquatic animals because of its massive size and sharp teeth. If you are a passionate hunter or fisherman who wants to add another large fish species to your collection, the Greenland shark is a must-see. However, if you are a person who fears water and doesn’t want to get near the ocean, then another option is the marlin.
The Difference In Length
To further confuse matters, there is a distinct difference in length between a 28 ounce pint of beer and a 30 ounce bottle of wine. While a pint of beer measures in at 5.5 inches, a bottle of wine measures in at 7 inches. If you are ordering food at a restaurant, you don’t want to confuse the waiter by ordering a beverage that is longer than the customary glass or bottle of wine used for alcoholic drinks. This could potentially lead to serious consequences, especially if you are trying to keep your alcohol consumption a secret from your friends and family.
Why Is It Illegal To Possess A King Fish?
Because fish are a highly-nutritious food source, it is generally illegal to possess or sell them in most parts of the United States. In some states, it is also illegal to catch them because of the large size of these fish. Although there is no federal law against it, federal fishing regulations classify king fish as “vermin,” or animal pests, which are supposed to be controlled or eradicated by state game wardens.
The best solution to avoid any legal troubles is to know the proper size and weight of any fish you plan on buying or eating. This will help you determine whether or not you are actually breaking any local or state laws. Be sure to consult your local fishmonger or fish market to get an idea of what size and weight of fish are commonly found in your area.
King fish are typically good for someone with a dietary need or allergy. However, these large fish are also a popular prey item among bald eagles, the largest bird of prey in North America. Should you decide to keep one as a pet, make sure to get a license and permit from your local authorities in order to do so.
If you or a loved one is allergic to fish, then this particular type of fish can be a great option for you to eat. The large size of these fish makes them relatively easy to prepare and cook, which may interest an adventurous eater or someone who is looking to improve their diet.