Nothing like a good old-fashioned trout measuring contest to decide who the king of Idaho steelhead fishing is.
Scott Turner is again wearing that crown.
He already previously held the record once, but his big fish was bested by an inch just one year later by Tucker Young. The fish Turner first set the record with back in 2017 was 36 inches long, Young’s 37.
In 2018 another angler named Samuel Brumbaugh again broke the state record with his 38-inch fish.
The whole ordeal came full circle this year when Turner wrestled the state record away from Brumbaugh by reeling in a girthy 39.5-inch fish to reclaim the Idaho state record. I wonder how many potatoes that thing weighed?
After catching a 39-inch steelie, Scott Turner set the new state mark—for the second time.
All four records were caught on the same river, and Turner is the only person to set a state catch-and-release steelhead record twice. Additional research is needed to determine if the feat has ever been accomplished with fishing records in other states.
In a statement published in Field and Stream, Idaho Fish and Game reveals that this haul is extremely rare:
“Steelhead over 30 inches are pretty rare in most of Idaho, and one over 35 inches is VERY rare.
If we look at trapping numbers from Lower Granite Dam, we can get a good sense of just how rare a steelhead like this is. During the last 13 years, Idaho Fish and Game biologists trapped and measured about 225,000 steelheads at Lower Granite Dam as they return to Idaho, so there are some very accurate data on steelhead sizes.
On average, steelhead over 35 inches long only makes up about 0.9 percent of the total run. Larger steelhead is even rarer, with fish over 40 inches making up only 0.002 percent of those crossing Lower Granite Dam, which might only mean a half-dozen fish in any given year.”
That makes Scott Young’s recent accomplishment all the more impressive.