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Whopper of a fish is found in an Olathe drainage ditch

Animal control officer Jamie Schmidt of the Olathe Police Department posed with a huge carp found last week in a drainage ditch in the Persimmon Hill subdivision. The carp, which was dead, probably came from a small lake in the subdivision during last week’s storm, Schmidt said.
Animal control officer Jamie Schmidt of the Olathe Police Department posed with a huge carp found last week in a drainage ditch in the Persimmon Hill subdivision. The carp, which was dead, probably came from a small lake in the subdivision during last week’s storm, Schmidt said. Olathe Police Department

Don’t blame Jamie Schmidt for being skeptical when a man called last week saying he had found a 4-foot-long carp in a drainage ditch in Olathe.

“I was in disbelief when he told me it was 4 feet,” said Schmidt, an animal control officer with the Olathe Police Department. “I know how men like to tell fish stories. I was sure it would be a lot smaller.”

The man did exaggerate a bit — it was only about 31/2 feet long. And it weighed 60 pounds.

“That is a pretty big fish,” Schmidt said.

The man, who lives in the Persimmon Hill subdivision in west Olathe, was out on a walk Friday and found the fish in a ditch near Prairie Center Elementary School at 629 N. Persimmon Drive.

“He located it and gave me a call and wanted to know if we would come out and take care of it for him,” Schmidt said.

Because the fish was so heavy, she wrapped it in trash bags and dragged it to her truck. She used a kennel that lowers to the ground to get it into the truck.

“It wasn’t too hard since it was already dead,” she said. “If it had been alive, it would have been more work.”

The fish is believed to have come from Persimmon Hill Lake inside the subdivision, which is northwest of West Santa Fe Street and North Hedge Lane.

There had been a lot of rain from last week’s storm, so Schmidt said she believed the fish must have been caught in the current as water spilled from the lake.

While Schmidt said she knew the lake is stocked occasionally, she didn’t expect it to house such a large fish.

News of the find started appearing in social media Tuesday morning after the Olathe Police Department posted a picture of Schmidt with the fish on Facebook and Twitter.

“I didn’t realize my summer would be this interesting,” said Schmidt, a school resource officer for the Police Department who has been filling in as an animal control officer while the regular one is on maternity leave.

To reach Robert A. Cronkleton, call 816-234-4261 or send email to bcronkleton@kcstar.com.

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