Missouri State biologists net likely record brown trout

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Missouri State biologists net likely record brown trout

The Associated Press, Date: 09/04/01 15:54

BRANSON, Mo. -- Everyone agrees it's a whopper of a fish for Lake Taneycomo, but it won't be going into the record book. There won't be any certificates or trophies, either.

That's because Missouri Department of Conservation biologists netted the brown trout while looking for evidence that large fish are returning to the popular fishing lake near Branson.

Needless to say, biologists got the evidence they were looking for in their annual sampling. The brown trout was 36.5 inches long, with a girth of 28.5 inches. No scales were available when it was pulled Aug. 27 from Lake Taneycomo. But based on its size, it was calculated to weigh about 37 pounds.

That would have topped the current state record of 26 pounds, 13 ounces for a brown trout.

From a statistical standpoint, officials said it was merely a fish that was measured and released unharmed into the lake.

Biologists, however, said it represents more than numbers on their clipboard.

"A fish this size represents the growth potential that exists for trout in Lake Taneycomo," said Chris Vitello, supervisor of Department of Conservation Southwest Regional Fisheries. "Because of length limits and catch-and-release regulations, I wouldn't be surprised to see a new state-record brown trout caught from Lake Taneycomo in the next few years."

It wasn't the first sign that there are tremendous trout swimming in the lake. In 1997, a dead brown trout weighing slightly more than 37 pounds was found there. Officials estimated that it could have weighed a world-record 40-plus pounds when alive. The present state record brown trout also was caught in 1997 near Powersite Dam.

"This fish is definitely the top predator in the lake," said Fisheries Management Biologist Bill Anderson, who manages the fishery at Lake Taneycomo. "Anglers are the only thing it has to worry about."
 

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