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Is the Pending World Record Rainbow a Real Trout?

Posted by Tom Chandler 6/27/2007 5 minutes

The 43.6 pound Rainbow Trout recently caught at Lake Diefenbaker has been submitted for world record status... Except,
it's clear the enormous trout is one of the half-million triploids who escaped a commercial fish farming operation and took up residence at the lake.

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Conservation writer Ted Williams sums up the questionable background of the fish:

I learned further that an aquaculture operation called CanGro on Lake Diefenbaker produces over 100 tons of finished commercial fish products annually. The operation is vertically integrated from hatching to processing. Fish are raised inside from egg to feeding size, then moved to net cages in the lake. The fish raised are steelheadXrainbow crosses and triploid females. Apparently the record fish was one of triploid females that recently escaped from CanGro net pens.

The Pending World Record (farm raised) Rainbow?

In other words, the "pending" world record (IGFA) was raised in a pen, genetically manipulated to grow huge, and regularly fed. Not exactly in line with the "spirit" of the rules, and it raises some pretty interesting questions -- which I expect you to answer.

Can anything raised (and fed) in a pen be a "real" world record? The floor is yours...


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Tom Chandler

As the author of the decade leading fly fishing blog Trout Underground, Tom believes that fishing is not about measuring the experience but instead of about having fun. As a staunch environmentalist, he brings to the Yobi Community thought leadership on environmental and access issues facing us today.

63 comments
[#8230;] ? Perhaps it wouldn#039;t have qualified for a state record even if it weighted 200 lbs. Is the Pending World Record Rainbow a Real Trout? #8211; The Trout Underground Fly Fishing Blog Personally, I think all the GMO fish, especially transgenetic ones, should be kept out of the [#8230;]
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If an American didn't catch it, it's a freak and shouldn't count. Wake up people.
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Where then, do you draw the line? Monster Lakers have been netted in Lake Athabaska in 1961. A 102 lb. female was kept and many othjer of similar size were released! Are these genetic freaks, or so-called triploids???
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You won't get that new pa record anyway. Your fish was caught in a stream that was not open to the public,it was caught during a fishing contest. This is clearly stated on the paperwork you would of had to fill out to enter your catch. On the other hand ,I caught my trout 15 lbs ,12 ounces , in a public stream open to everyone in the pohopocco , which will be the new record for pa.
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So to sum up, we should allow that abomination as a record because you may have caught one too? The real point here is that in an era of genetic manipulation and triploid-induced, pen-raised fish, records are pointless.
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let it go peolpe its a record its a rainbow trout he caught it the right way and it should be good i just caught a state record in pa bethlehem 17.10 pounds and i might not get the record cause u people r fighting this let it go you catch right its should be a record wether its farm rasied or not
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that fish wasnt raised on a farm its been in the lake for a long time i just caught a state record in pa 17.10 pounds and i might not get te record cause of this if u catch it on a fishing pole the right way its a record wether its a farm raised fish or not so let it go everybody its a rainbow trout right then its a record if he caught it right
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[...] Devil is as usual in the detail. The first catch created a storm of controversy #8211; that catch sparked online debate over the legitimacy of Lake Diefenbaker's farm-born, but escaped genetically-engineered rainbows. [...]
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Legally caught is not the answer. The fish must have grown "naturally" with no influence by man. Hybrid (i.e. cutthroat X rainbow subspecies) trout occurring in nature and wild should be considered a viable record candidate. A man-made fish is a manipulated fish, especially one in a cage fed special food, or much more food than nature would normally provide. An argument might be, "well, a huge, 68+ ... more lb Kenai chinook is natural and is a confirmed, world record legal fish." True, but the entire strain of Kenai chinook are naturally much bigger than all other varieties. If this huge rainbow could spawn huge rainbows in nature, then all is well and "legal." But it is a freak created by mankind.
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[...] caught a 48-pound, world-record rainbow trout. The fish came from Lake Diefenbaker, where trout genetically engineered to grow extra-big escaped from a fish farm nine years [...]
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Anyway you look at it, he caught this monster fish legally, which im sure was not easy to do. The precision to find, hook and catch this huge trout was excuted legally and should be honored either way. Jealousy is so present and obvious in many of these reader comments, how many wouldnt want to catch it because of genetics?
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If someone shot a St. Bernard and tried to turn it in as a world record wolf, would it be a real record? Of course not. And that's exactly what this monstrosity is. It's nothing more than a sophisticated St. Bernard steelhead.
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We have the same scenario here in Ohio, Summit Lake. Goodyear went berserk stocking the lake with largemouth, as well as all types of pollutants. Now we have the Erie Towpath Canal running into and out of the lake and it has a population of monster bass that staggers my imagination! But bass are a different ball of wax they can reproduce and eat any and everything. Often small pond bass can be massive, ... more no real competition and a steady supply of food. The average bass in the towpath are around 2 to 3 pounds, not the biggest but if you saw the size of this canal you would be astonished. There are also some absolute titans in there, I'm talking Ox tippet fish! Its not uncommon to land three or four 8 to 10 pounders on a good day. Like I said though bass can do that in the wild on there own.
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i recently fished a pond that was used for i dont know what but i live in ky and in this pond i hooked a largemouth that was at least 35in long and had to weigh over 20lbs and was not fat . i thought a cat had grabbed my jig till it came up taildancing and after getting this bass within netting distance had no net that sucked and seeing it several times before my jig and 17lb floro tore out of its ... more mouth i was thinking i have a state maybe world record but i doubt it would have counted cause there is no way a bass can get that big unless it was just a freak maybe i could have gotten a non typical record. but its still fun to go try and get it to bite again. also trying to get fish and wildlife to come shock it for me.but knowing that that fish is not normal it would not mean as much as a normal 13pounder. and if i catch it i wont even submit it to the record books. but you will surely read about it in the magazines. WT Bash: Aren't most of the fish in the U.S. stocked and therefore “un-natural”? Such as all browns? Either way though its a huge fish but I hear what most of you guys are saying and agree sure most fish in our waters didn't occur naturally but they often reproduce naturally and so forth and so on but I don't think this should be a record, at least not an IGFA record maybe something for the Ripley's and Guinness folks. There are alot of those kinda rivers here in Ohio, well OK there not even rivers or streams just man made trenches with some so called “spring fed” crap going on and freak show hybrid rainbows. I for one don't like fishing that way. Stocking fish where they didn't and don't normally live is one thing but freak show mutants raised in a pen are another….agh I don't know, I'm sure if one of us caught it we might have a different view. Hahaha
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[...] first questioned the legitimacy of a 43.6 pound, world-record rainbow trout caught at Lake Diefenbaker after learning that it was an escapee from a fish farm #8211; a rainbow [...]
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[...] caught a 48-pound, world-record rainbow trout. The fish came from Lake Diefenbaker, where trout genetically engineered to grow extra-big escaped from a fish farm nine years [...]
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Aren't most of the fish in the U.S. stocked and therefore "un-natural"? Such as all browns? Either way though its a huge fish but I hear what most of you guys are saying and agree sure most fish in our waters didn't occur naturally but they often reproduce naturally and so forth and so on but I don't think this should be a record, at least not an IGFA record maybe something for the Ripley's and Guinness ... more folks. There are alot of those kinda rivers here in Ohio, well OK there not even rivers or streams just man made trenches with some so called "spring fed" crap going on and freak show hybrid rainbows. I for one don't like fishing that way. Stocking fish where they didn't and don't normally live is one thing but freak show mutants raised in a pen are another....agh I don't know, I'm sure if one of us caught it we might have a different view. Hahaha
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[...] caught a 48-pound, world-record rainbow trout. The fish came from Lake Diefenbaker, where trout genetically engineered to grow extra-big escaped from a fish farm nine years [...]
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Did he catch the fish? I assume so; so Yes. Did he use a net? Did he spear it? Or was it standard fishing rod and reel (fly fishing ...what ever.....)? Was he fishing in the pen? Was the watyer infested only with steroid made fish? If he caught the thing it was fishing luck so he should get the record. Stop hating!
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In my opinion, these fish should not count toward world records.
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The fish is legit due to the fact it was caught in the lake not in a pen
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Should it count? I don't think we can disqualify it. There are people feeding fish world wide, creating behaviors that are not "natural". Heck, even fishing for fish creates behaviors that are not "natural". Was this genentically engineered? Sure, but was it caught legally? yes. There is a person, today, who is raising a record breaking fish in their backyard. Genetica engineering, breeding program, ... more feeding program...it's all unnatural and should count. However, distinctions should be made. An asterisk in the record books.
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[...] caught a 48-pound, world-record rainbow trout. The fish came from Lake Diefenbacher, where trout genetically engineered to grow extra-big escaped from a fish farm nine years [...]
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is it sterile and no it shouldnt be a record cus its a crossbreed and raised in captivity.
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fred jones: Raised and fed?You mean like every other stocked trout? Every other stocked trout is not a Steelhead X Rainbow cross, nor are they triploids, nor are they fed to grow to sizes that would never be sustained in the wild. Aside from those details, I guess they're just like everybody else's stocked trout.
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Raised and fed? You mean like every other stocked trout?
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You know, everyone has good valid points(for both sides) I've just been told that all the trout being stocked in B.C. and Ab. are all triploids.(hmmm.) Well if you cant beat em join em. So I guess you'll see me and my two brothers out there before winter.Ranger boys signing off. Good luck to all and "may the fish be with you"
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What did he use fish pellets? maybe if they caught the trout on a natural pattern not something a farmed fish would eat that fish is farmed idiot
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Oh my god you are retarded. That is like saying.'I killed this deer in the wild it is the new record. But it was raised in a pen all its life eating unnatural food for the deer that makes it fat but it escaped.' There is no way it should be counted its unfair for all the REAL anlgers fishing wild fish in the wild.
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[...] The Trout Underground#8217;s post of the triploid rainbow trout record showed the divide that exists even within our little community. [...]
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[...] the outrage associated with TC#8217;s question about whether a 98 lb triploid should be considered the ...? That was an easy genealogy question compared to what#8217;s [...]
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Hey Fella's I live in Saskatoon, an hour north of Lake Diefenbaker where this trout was caught. My dad was a Conservation and I grew up living 100yards from the shore of Diefenbaker. About 10 years ago 500 000 Bows escaped from the pens on Diefenbaker. These were grown trout mostly weighing 8-12 lbs. I know cause I had been down to throw pellets into their pens a few times. Anyway. It should be a ... more record. What are the chances that a fish will get away from a pen and grow to be that huge? Not very good. What are the chances that someone will catch a fish that big??? How many fish have you caught that were that big? Actually, I would be there are bigger trout in the lake than that, so why don't you come and catch one??? In reality it's not like shooting fish in a barrel. These two brothers fished the heck out of that lake getting to know it and the fish in it. They worked hard specifically for record rainbows and have gotten some. Good for them. Personally I would rather see someone earn a record like they have not luck into a record like some kid trolling for pike with his dad. As well, keep in mind that fish put on at LEAST 30 lbs during its lake life. Sure it had an advantage but I've seen a Whitefish that weighed 32lbs (Great Slave lake) because it was a triploid and had an advantage. Anyway, just remember that that fish was not fed to be a 30 lb trout in the pen!!!!
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Hey guys I'm a fishin maniac. I live a few hours from Jewel lake B.C. The lake is full of crayfish. No more big rainbows. And when these net pen Quazimoto's out live thier time, and we can't seem to come close to that elusive record any more, all we have to do is to slash open one more triploid net pen and were back in business. Better yet I've studied Salmonid Culture at UBC I can just grow my own ... more triploid in a private lake net pen, have my brother release it, then catch it. Why don,t we all do it. I,ve wanted to do that for years, But what is the legacy we leave behind? It,s not moral!! Now having said that you can,t fault the Konrad Boys they,re probably pretty awesome guys. They obviosly worked hard for what they,ve got,(breaking four records, releasing hundreds of trout over 20lbs.) But boys this just doesn,t sit well with most. Keep fishing,Don,t enter the genetically-altered non propagating fish.
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In the 1930's there was a trout a rainbow. It was said to be a kamloops or a gerard rainbow. This was netted in jewel lake. In the Greenwood BC area. In the 1950's another big one taken and many large fish years ago. The 1930's one weighed 52 lbs. 2 Oz. Where do they figure 43 lbs being the record. My Guess the species.
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I submitted a claim to the IGFA yesterday for largest rainbow trout. Just lucky I guess, but I had eaten some farm raised Rainbow trout for dinner that evening...on an errant backcast I managed to hook myself in the left buttock... The way I figure, there was enough genetic material from dinner coursing through my bloodstream to qualify me as a trout. I won't mention the 14 colors I turned when the ... more barbed #4 long shank tore through my jeans...
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A record in my mind goes to show that you have done soomething that no one else has. Sure this guy caught a massive rainbow that is breaking records; I'll give him credit no one else has done it. I'm not sure I could go feel completely satisfied knowing that my record was juiced up on Balco Drugs, but what the hell, its the fattest rainbow I've ever seen, good for you. It's the new record and someone ... more else should break it if they feel like complaining. On the other hand if I held a record for the biggest tarpon on light tippet, or any fish for that matter, I would challenge anyone and their mother to top that. If you say that sort of record is silly or unmentionable, I'd like to see you try and break it. Bob Rich broke several fly rod records by pulling in all sorts of exotic fish on light tippet. No one else has done it and until someone else breaks his records that is exactly what he will have until someone does.
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You gotta love a topic that incites more thought than a tortured, 1200 page novel. In truth, if you can't adjust your perceptions up and down to match the environment, then there's little hope for you in the first place. I fished the lake a couple nights ago, and caught trout up to 17", yet the "big fish" of the week was the 14" brown from the smaller stream. With that in mind, what's "bigger" to ... more you -- a 16" rainbow that blindly ate a wooly bugger you were dragging behind the float tube, or a 12" rainbow you caught from the lakes inlet, and had to make a long roll cast under an overhanging bush to do it? As for records, I've read a lot of stories lately about a guy in Florida who holds more fly fishing weight records (based on tippet classes) than anyone else. It's basically what he does, and all I could think was "that would suck."
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I call shenanagins!!! Oh what the hell, give the kid a record. I could give him a whole bunch of records, I have all the classics but my record player is broken and parts for repair are non-existant. Records need definition, I have a friend that caught a 32" river brown on the Muskegon river but the State of Michigan does not discriminate between "Lake Browns" and "River Browns". Although there is ... more a HUGE difference. Lake Browns look like a football,(much like that rainbow), and "River Browns" are almost "tube like". But in the large scheme of things who gives a schmidt.
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Do you think Barry Bonds deserves the praise he gets? Enough said.
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The parallels to the Bonds record ARE remarkeable. When Bonds hits number 756, does he break the record? He does, in my opinion, but we must conclude that the record books themselves are compromised. Similarly, as the fishing record books are filled with force-fed, genetically questionable fish, the caveats come out. How can they not? The record books themselves are the victims - what is this record ... more testing now? I agree with ijsouth: certainly skill is not being tested here. So what becomes the record that tests (at least somewhat) the skill of the angler? If there is no replacement, we must say the record books are not only lacking, but misleading.
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Personally, I'm kind of in the same boat as Tom on this one. It would be just fine with me if there were no records...period. No tournaments, no records, no "what's your biggest..." or "how many did you catch" questions used to hang labels, promote gear, and promote fisheries. The whole "X number of world records caught here" hype and nonsense has just about ruined some very nice rivers. I know many ... more anglers who refuse to fish close to home anymore, but instead make one or more big trips per year to "holy water" somewhere else. Nothing wrong with trips...I love them too! But I have a hard time understanding the angler who won't fish locally/regionally several times per year so that he can go to "world class water" once per year. There is world class water almost EVERYWHERE in this country within driving distance for a day trip. Most of it is just unpublicized...thank God!
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That is the ugliest trout I've ever seen. I will say, though, that I've caught a much smaller version with the same body type. Those fish had stuffed themselves on small shad that had received some rough treatment from some generator turbines.
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Good idea. Ok, Lift up that trout's skirt and tell me which kind it is...
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Why not make to classes of records one for real trout and the other for giant genetically engineered mutant trout.
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kbarton: I found the hidden meaning in your post. You're going to catch a world-record asparagus, aren't you? (Admit it!) This topic is an excellent example of a slippery slope; start placing conditions on the circumstances surrounding a record, and chaos is the likely result. My initial take was that a "fed" fish shouldn't qualify, but the trout below Ruedi dam on the Frying Pan are essentially ... more "fed" by the shrimp that were planted in the reservoir. Aren't tailwaters inherently artificial?

Of course, throw commerce into the gears, and you'll likely jam the wheels of logic entirely.

For example, it's common for pay-to-play British stillwaters to raise monstrous fish, which are then dumped into the lake in the hopes someone will catch them before they expire, bringing favorable publicity to the business.

Hell, in this case, this monster trout was caught by one of a small handful of youngsters who decided to specifically target these escaped fish to bring favorable publicity to their guide venture.

So what counts?

Since I'm not in line for any record of any kind, I say we abolish them all -- until such time as I land a world record. That works for me.
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Tom, I think the answer to the subject line - "Is the pending world record rainbow a real trout?" - should be based upon how the fish was modified and not necessarily on how it was raised. In other words, is the fish genetically the same as the species "norm"? Obviously, a sterile triploid fish is not genetically the same as a fertile diploid. For political and economic reasons, genetically modified ... more species are allowed to retain the taxonomy of the parent species (even though genes may be introduced from other fish species, or plants, bacteria, etc.) even though, in the case of triploid salmon, "triploid fish include all
elements of the diploid genotype, but the reverse is not the case." (click for reference)

Thus, from a purely genetic sense, IMO that fish is not a rainbow trout. JMO, of course.

Best regards,
Reed
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Genetic stocks have been polluted for most of a century; rainbow trout, humans, and asparagus, all have undergone evolutionary changes due to environment and artificial genetic tinkering. I agree with KW, that if you insist on the moral high-ground, all hatchery fish are out of bounds. I would also include all fish that were transplanted to new habitat - as they had an unfair advantage (read unnatural) ... more as well. Purism is a house of cards, as effluent from farms and cities have changed growth rates of almost every species (usually for the worse). Hydro electric dams and their turbines dice fish from lakes and spew this chum into an afterbay or stream, is this not "artificial" feeding as well? Proximity to humans can influence growth rates, but in the rare instance there is some benefit - we are going to claim it's "unnatural" therefore wrong? "Cultured" pearls are man made but still quite expensive, they are considered pearls just the same. Aside from a change to the categories of world records, I see no way not to legitimize this beast. A guy goes fishing and throws a hook in a lake populated by Rainbow trout, he lands the biggest ever, case closed.
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I think fish raised in aquaculture ag facilities should not be legitimized as SPORT fish. But I think THAT is the appropriate line of demarcation rather than simply "pen raised" or "artificially fed." If you use those standards, then ALL hatchery fish are out of bounds. That would eliminate MOST IGFA world records. If the fish was raised for sporting purposes (like typical hatchery fish released young ... more into sport fisheries), then it's cool. If it was raised for agriculture, research, etc. then it is not cool for sportfish records.
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This record is no different than the future Barry Bonds home run record. Sure, it happened, but it was juiced up by unnatural means, and should be stricken from the books. Now, Pete Rose, he should be allowed in the hall of fame!
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That is like shooting a deer raised on a farm in a fenced pen....no record. I am sure it was fun to catch, and wouldn't mind being the one to do so, but no record no way.
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kbarton, You said "For a second I thought he was talking about High School kids and Sex - wasn't the result that we (humanity) rose to the top of the food chain?" Actually, the average High School male's preoccupation with sex is probably detrimental to the advance of the species. Given the 23 hours and 57 minutes a day he spends thinking about sex and the possible remainder of the time spent in propagating ... more the species (if he is "lucky"), it is a wonder that we still exist. Add in Onanism and we might feel endangered as a species. As for being the "top of the food chain", there are some microbes that might be better contenders. Best regards, Reed
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Interesting thought that... " we can debate whether such single-minded behavior is good overall, but it certainly has no benefit to the species." For a second I thought he was talking about High School kids and Sex - wasn't the result that we (humanity) rose to the top of the food chain? Perhaps this "scout" was the first evidence of a insidious plot to reduce Mankind to serfdom - a gi-normous sentient ... more race of trout, intent on World domination? Put a cute name like "triploid" on it, but someone put a rubberband around some mighty sensitive equipment...I would hold a grudge, large.
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Tom, No. Since this was a triploid trout, all of its resources were diverted from the matter of reproduction into increase in mass. Just as with steers, we want these fish to keep their mind on eating, just eating. Now, we can debate whether such single-minded behavior is good overall, but it certainly has no benefit to the species. We don't allow dogs who have been sterilized to compete in events, ... more since - should they win - their genetic material could not be passed on to improve the breed. I suggest we apply somewhat similar logic to triploid fish and records, should the fish escape the frying pan. It might even be argued that these triploid trout are not genetically the same species of fish as their diploid cousins. BTW, one interesting note on the use of triploids - triploid male brook trout can sexually mature (triploid females don't) and disrupt the spawning behavior of diploid brook trout. Best regards, Reed
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I'm heading for the lake to try and catch a legitimate world record fish. Sure, the odds are against me. As for this world record, I think this is the kind of thing that happens when you start keeping records. I'm in favor of abolishing them all right now, but sadly, I hold a minority opinion. Right now we're wondering about force-fed triploids. In a few years, it'll be gene-spliced superfish -- the ... more Rainbow Capable of Eating Your Fly, Line Rod (not to mention you).
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I caught a fish identical in shape but only about 7" long , an the upper Sac at Scherrer St at the RR tracks
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This fish is the Barry Bonds of the piscatorial world. It might set a record, but much like Bonds' upcoming "event", it will never be accepted, nor should it be. Setting a record should be about skill; clearly, this fish was never intended to be caught on a hook and line, and little to no skill was involved in catching it.
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"Can anything raised (and fed) in a pen be a “real” world record?" Abolutely NOT ! Just my humble opinion. Larry S
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it's definitely not a "real" world record but it is a record frankenbow...isn't it? did he catch it on a chernobyl fly of some kind?
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Yeah... I'm going to call BS on that one. I caught some massive fish at Henderson Springs, but the clearly were not "natural" so I don't count them in my personal list of "largest trout", because they were Disney Trout, just not real. When a trout gets pen fed it grows that hump back from getting too much food in too short a time... a sure sign of the fish's past in the Pen.
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Yep, you're right...as the angler supersized his BigMac and Fries prior to landing this behemoth, it is unnatural and should be disallowed. So, in that jaundiced light, can we assume that the only valid 100m dash record involves a Pterodactyl chasing a Caveman? I mean...unless a dirty loincloth and flint spear is involved, aren't all records unnatural?
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What do you think Tom? You can force feed any animal, but that is not natural. If this is one of the reared fish then it shouldn't be considered for this particular record, but perhaps there are other records to define. Although, look at the Asian carp in England that have been eating and getting fat off ground bait over the years that are being caught up to 50lbs. You don't get them that size in ... more nature, but the English are quite happy to qualify these exotic species, that were introduced hundreds of years ago, for national records.
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It depends on whether you ascribe to the National Enquirer theory of weights and measures... Many world records are unearthed and legitimized by the scientific staff at NE...recent examples include the 1400 lb portugese 9 year old, that had not eaten in 8 years - as well as the 12" tall chocolate Virgin Mary - now proudly displayed at GoldenPalace.com... I could argue the fat kid was pen raised, but ... more that would align me with boorish, non PC behavior. I figure a Vibert box is a pen too. Many of the species we stalk are as inbred as the reigning Houses of Europe...not through any fault of our own, this was done many years ago. Cleft palates we can handle, but Hemophiliac trout will doom Catch and Release fishing for certain. I would allow it, that big arsed triploid could have been ground into cat chow, he took his chances and won. That is still a singularity in my book.
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No.
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