On Feb. 15, Zane Nielsen of Pleasant Grove pulled a new catch-and-release record tiger trout through a hole in the ice at Scofield.
Before releasing the behemoth, Nielsen measured the fish at 27 inches. Zane didn’t have a scale in his tackle box, but he says the fish probably weighed between 8 and 9 pounds. Nielsen caught the fish using a spoon tipped with chub meat as bait.
The new record broke the old record set at Panquitch Lake by Ryan Hunter, who caught a 26-inch tiger on Aug. 15, 2009.
One day after Nielsen caught the new catch-and-release record, another record was set by Trent Peery of Santaquin when he walked into the Division of Wildlife Resource’s office in Springville carrying a fat 15-pound tiger trout.
Peery’s fish was 32 1/4 inches long. It’s girth measured 20 inches.
Peery also caught his record breaker at Scofield Reservoir.
Plenty of big fish
While DWR fisheries biologists were pleased to see the new record breakers, they weren’t surprised.
During a gill net survey at Scofield on Oct. 5, 2011, biologists discovered numerous 2- to 6-pound tigers in the nets. The second largest tipped the scale at 8 pounds. The largest measured 32 inches and weighed 13 pounds.
If you’re wondering if the last record tiger trout has been caught at Scofield, keep in mind that tigers are voracious chub predators. Until they’ve eaten all the chubs in the reservoir, there’s plenty of protein and calories to fuel extraordinary growth in the fish.
Scofield also has cutthroat trout. Just like tiger trout, cutthroat trout also eat chubs. Cutthroats can put on a lot of mass in Scofield’s prey-rich environment.
Scofield Reservoir is about 30 miles northwest of Price, just north of the town of Scofield.