Idaho angler Larry Warren is receiving praise for catching and releasing a giant rainbow trout earlier this month that allegedly weighed almost eight pounds more than the current state record. Idaho Fish and Game released a photograph of Warren with his mammoth catch on Tuesday, and the image quickly drew the attention of anglers online.
According to Fish and Game, Warren caught the rainbow trout in the Clearwater River near Orofino on January 8 using a six-pound test line. At the time, he measured it to be about 28 pounds, but state records require that catches be documented on a certified scale. Since Warren released the fish, it is ineligible for submission as the new state record.
“This fish has been swimming in the Clearwater for years,” stated Fish and Game on its Twitter account.” …Our fisheries expert in the Clearwater Region estimates the fish at seven years old.”
It seems that the fish will continue to thrive in the river and perhaps one day be caught by another lucky angler. If the boat-side weight of 28 pounds is accurate, then it would clearly beat the current state record of 20.2 pounds. That fish was caught by Michelle Larsen-Williams from the Snake River in 2009.
Larsen-Williams’ record has been challenged before by another massive rainbow. In 2013, a biologist at the Nez Perce Tribal Hatchery brought in a 28-pound, nine-ounce rainbow near the Dworshak Dam. Although that fish was brought to a certified scale and measured to weigh more than the state record, it was not eligible since the angler, Tui Moliga, caught it under tribal rules rather than state regulations.
“It would have been cool but it’s still not going to change the fact that is a big fish that I caught,” Moliga told The Spokesman-Review. “I’m not a trophy hunter of fish but since I caught it I will be proud of it. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s the biggest one I ever caught.”
For comparison, the International Game Fish Association lists a 48-pound rainbow trout as the current world record. That fish was caught in Canada’s Lake Diefenbaker by Sean Konrad in 2009.
Image courtesy Idaho Fish and Game