State-record rainbows coming to SARL

spectr17

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State-record rainbows coming to SARL

February 7, 2002

By DAVE STREGE, The Orange County Register

A potential state-record rainbow trout is coming to Santa Ana River Lakes in the next week or two, and it is likely to be accompanied by controversy, if last season's experience is an indication.

But before we reopen that can of worms ...

As concessionaire Doug Elliott says on the SARL hotline recording, "Now here's the big news!"

Mt. Lassen Trout Farm in Northern California will stock the biggest rainbow trout of the season at Santa Ana River Lakes the next two Wednesday nights.

Among the load of trophy trout are to be three, each weighing more than the state record of 23 pounds.

"He (Phil Mackey of Mt. Lassen) doesn't pull them out of the pond and weigh them," Elliott said. "He thinks they're big enough. He's a trout man, he says he's got 'em, I assume he's got 'em. As far as I'm concerned, that's as good as having weighed them.

"Whether or not they'll be caught or die or whatever, I don't know."

If one is caught, SARL will be ready with camera, certified scale and the phone number for the Department of Fish and Game in to confirm the catch.

Elliott wants anglers to be ready, too, telling them that they must have a fishing license for the DFG to recognize the fish as a record, even though the lakes do not require anglers to have one.

That is one bone of contention Elliott has over the DFG criteria for the record. The current record holder didn't have a license because he was under 16 and not required to have one.

SARL anglers of any age are not required to have a fishing license.

The bigger debate, however, will be the record itself.

Last year, anglers took sides on whether a trout raised to state-record size, planted and caught should become a record.

The fish that sparked debate last year was a 23.76-pound rainbow from SARL that was submitted for record consideration only to be withdrawn after a witness claimed it was netted.

Anglers gave mixed opinions over the "record" issue. Even members of the DFG appeared divided.

Dwayne Maxwell, a DFG senior biologist who verified the fish and weight, said that if the angler had a valid fishing license "there's nothing that I can think of that prevents us from certifying it as a state record."

However, Steve Taylor, in charge of inland records for the DFG, wasn't as sure, saying he hadn't made up his mind.

Taylor was asked before this season if an angler caught a record-sized rainbow at a pay lake, would it become a state record? He replied, "I think we would end up not approving a traditional record."

He also said all record catches are considered on a case-by-case basis by a Fisheries Management Committee, adding that he didn't know what it would do.

He had previously made a suggestion about making a category for triploid trout, which essentially are trout that are sterilized so they grow faster and bigger by bypassing the spawn cycle.

But Elliott said Mackey says some fish become triploids in nature, so how could the DFG differentiate a pay-lake triploid and one from nature?

Elliott said the DFG should stick to its criterion.

"You don't change the rules in a football game once the football game has started," he said. "If they want to change the rules, change them now."

Taylor has said doing so is not possible because there is no way of predicting what issues might arise, hence the case-by-case process.

Another rainbow record to consider is a world line-class record, kept by the International Game Fish Association.

The 2-pound line-class record is 18 pounds, 4 ounces. Four-pound is 23-12.

Dave Pierson of Garden Grove recently caught a 22-10 rainbow at SARL and plans to submit it for a 2-pound line record.

As for the potential state record, it's open for debate. As soon as it's caught.
 

Bishop

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So what do you guys think.  If a sterilized trout is raised in a hatchery until it is state record size and then stocked in a 20 acre pond; and someone catches it the following day; should it be the state record? I don't think so, but thats just my personal opinion.
 

karstic

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I'd have to agree with you Bishop. If you want to sit on a 20 acre recharge pond with traffic whizzin' by on the 91 freeway and soak your line until you get hit and call that fishing the more power to ya.
 

jackrabbit

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I don't think any fish planted at a beginning weight over a state or world record should be counted.  This is similar to someone catching a freshwater gamefish, taking it home to an appropriate aquarium til it gains weight, and then going out and claiming they caught a record fish on light line.  What makes it worse, is this is so totally commercial.  The private lake operators should be able to make a profit on luring anglers to fish their lakes by the promise of very nice size fish.  But they should not be able to lure anglers by promising a record breaker which is essentially placed in a large bathtub to either be caught soon, or die; let alone the fact that the farm raised record fish hasn't a clue about how to fend for itself in a more natural environment.  I fished SARL extensively when I was in SoCal, for the comeraderie of fellow urbanites who needed a close by place to do our thing and mingle, and trade fishing lies.  We would have never considered a SARL trophy to be a true record in comparison to fish we caught in a more natural environment.  When we fished the Eastern Sierras and caught a big fish, we always checked for a fin clip to see if it was a brood stock from DFG.  A fish that was planted as a trophy, was never a real trophy for us -- just a very nice big fish that we were thrilled to catch.
 

russ

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 I agree with you all 100% its shouldn't be considerd a record.But you got to give some
credit to the lake owner,smart advertiseing
on his part.
 

hronk

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NO!  The argument that sterile fish exsist in the wild so why not recognise a raised fish (sterile) is Bull.  That wild fish still has to survive preditors for a minimum of 5 yrs where a pond raised fish is pampered and watched over for that same length of time.  I have had fish in my pond up to 12 lbs (don't get any ideas) and I can catch them with a lure, let them go, then change to a fly and catch it again.  Is that fishing?  But remember,  I'm the guy that thinks ground sluicing birds should be illegal. So I guess it is really how bad you need the noteriety(sp).....hronk  
 

Thonzberry

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I agree with you guys. Catching a raised fish and calling it a state record is a bunch of bull. Now hikeing into a remote area and tying your own flythat you made and catching trout in the wild, big or small is such a rush, thats what it's all about...to me anyways. Good Fishing yall
 

foulshot

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I've seen these fish every year at the Fred Hall shows and they look disgusting.  The meat is all white and they look very soft and squishy.
I don't see anything wrong with stocking a lake with the DFG size plant, but this is rediculous!  When is someone going to raise tuna in a pen, catch them?
 

Rob

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Thats fine if someone breaks a line class record but those trout are not pure normal rainbow trout, they are triploid, genetically altered its that look female but will never spawn so they do not loose weight every year.
 

bloodsports

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Foulshot,  In Japan and China they do pen raise tuna!!!  I agree anyhing pen raised should not be a record of any kind..
 
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