The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) announced on Thursday that the state now has a new record rainbow trout. The title goes to a fish caught by Paul Glover of Sallisaw, who reeled it in on April 4 in the Lower Illinois River below Tenkiller Ferry Dam. The fish was certified at a weight of 11 pounds and 4.32 ounces, beating out the previous state record of 10 pounds, 10.56 ounces set by Mark Reed in 2013. The new record also measured 29 3/16 inches in length and 16 9/16 inches in girth.
“Glover, a geography teacher at Sallisaw Middle School, was using a fly rod with 2-pound test line and a 1/80-ounce marabou jig that he had tied himself,” the agency stated in a press release.
The angler had been fishing with his wife for white bass at Tenkiller Lake recently, but only Glover was willing to brave the low temperatures on April 4. Instead of chasing bass, he thought he would change it up by going below the dam and try his luck for some trout.
“It was a good fight,” he told Tulsa World. “It took about 15 minutes. It didn’t jump out of the water but it fought hard… I always kind of dreamed about catching a state record down there.”
Glover suspected that he had landed a state record as soon as he saw the size of the fish. Normally, the angler said he usually releases the fish he catches, but this time he kept it and contacted wildlife officials to certify its weight. According to DWC streams supervisor Jim Burroughs, the record fish may have come from a batch of huge rainbow trout that was accidentally stocked into the river a year ago. The trout were originally headed to a private fishery.
Image courtesy Jeremy Bersche/Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation