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The one that didn’t get away. When is a big fish a record fish?

WYOMING – Anglers have been known to exaggerate a time or two regarding the size of the one that got away. Every once in a while, though, that whopper is legit, so the question is: Is it a record?

Tina Walker

Tina Walker is the Wyoming Game and Fish administrative assistant in the fish division. She gets this one a lot. What she’ll tell anglers who think they’ve reeled in a record is the following:

  • The fish must be weighed on a scale certified for legal trade. Scales in post offices or places of commerce are usually all certified. The scale in your tackle box is not. The weighing must be witnessed by two persons other than the applicant.
  • Fish must be caught on rod, reel and line or pole and line and hooked (no snagging) with any legal hook or lure.
  • Fish caught from private club or fish hatchery waters, or private ponds not accessible for angling to the public are ineligible.
  • The species must be verified by the Game and Fish Department. The identity of most fish is usually obvious, but there are certain species such as lake trout, splake, brook trout, walleye, sauger and some of the sunfish species that could easily be mistaken.
  • Fish must be taken legally in compliance with all Wyoming Game and Fish Department Regulations.

Once an application is verified, the angler will receive a certificate signed by the Chief of Fisheries and their name will be entered into the state record books

.

By the way, Doris Budge still holds the record for lake trout. She pulled a 50-pounder out of Jackson Lake in 1983. The record was tied by a Green River angler who caught a 50-pound laker out of Flaming Gorge Reservoir in 1995.

No one has caught a bigger cutthroat than Alan Dow’s 32-inch, 15-pounder out of Native Lake in Sublette County in 1959.

The most recent record fish belongs to Connor Weekes of Jackson. He reeled in a chub weighing 1 lbs., 15 oz. on October 23, 2016 from the Snake River.

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