'You'd really love to meet her sister'
The biggest tiger trout ever caught in Utah died for science and for the good of Scofield Reservoir. She was caught in a gill net during October's annual fall survey of fish populations at the lake.
The big fish weighed in at 13 pounds and measured 32 inches. That's more than two pounds heavier than the current state record, according Justin Hart, regional assistant aquatics manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
In fact, he said, all the tigers netted looked healthy, with many of them in the two to six pound range. Of the 80 trout recovered, about 60 percent were tigers, with the balance being cutthroat and rainbows.
"The bad news is, there are still a lot of chubs in there," Hart added. "The chub catch was lower than last year, but it's still about 10 chubs per trout. That's not awful, but there are still too many of them."
DWR introduced the tiger trout at Scofield six years ago to help reduce the chub population without having to resort to chemical treatment. Hart explained that the strategy should begin to show a noticeable reduction in another three to five years as the reservoir develops more age classes and bigger predatory fish.
Tigers are sterile hybrids made from a simple recipe: take a bucket of brook trout eggs and gently fold in a cup of brown trout milt. Because they're sterile, they don't waste time and energy on reproduction. They just eat other fish and grow fast.
Hart said the trick to catching the big ones is to use big lures. Leave the worms and PowerBait for smaller fish, but go after the big fish with crankbaits, spinners or spoons tipped with chub meat.
There's a slot limit in effect at Scofield that's a bit complicated. An angler can keep four trout, but only two of them can be non-rainbows. Any tiger or cutthroat between 15 and 22 inches has to be immediately released. Only one tiger or cutthroat can be over 22 inches.