The Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the catch of a new state record flathead catfish. The catfish was caught by Dale Blakley of Niles on January 12, on Barron Lake in Cass County. The fish weighed 52 pounds and measured 46.02 inches. A DNR fisheries biologist verified the record catch. The previous state record was caught by Rodney Akey of Niles on the St. Joseph River in Berrien County on May 22, 2012. That fish weighed 49.8 pounds and measured 45.7 inches. Prior to that, the record hadn’t been broken since 1943.