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There’s a New Maine Rainbow Trout Record, But Should It Count?

Images via Bangor Daily News

There’s no doubt this is the biggest Maine rainbow trout ever, but will it stand? 

Tim Kelley, a former Maine resident now living in Arkansas, came home for the weekend to visit his family near Vinalhaven. That very weekend just happened to be a free fishing weekend for the state so Kelley bought a cheap fishing outfit and hit up a local quarry pond for an afternoon of fishing. As luck would have it, he caught a Maine rainbow trout record. However, that’s where the story begins.

According to Wes Ashe, a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Resources biologist, the state had never stocked rainbow trout in that quarry and they did not grow there naturally.

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“We do stock a few quarry ponds on the island, but we only stock brook trout. The state has never stocked rainbows there. So it’s likely a private stocking,” Ashe said in an email to the Bangor Daily News. “Some of those quarry ponds are deep and have water quality that is suitable for trout growth and survival. If fishing pressure is light, it’s possible for stocked rainbows to do very well. I would never have anticipated a rainbow to grow to 13-plus pounds in that environment, but given the right water quality, diet, competition (or lack thereof), rainbows are hearty and can grow surprisingly large.”

Kelley’s trout, measuring out to 13 pounds, seven ounces beat the old record by more than five pounds. Still though, nobody knows how the trout actually got in there.

Recently, reports are coming in that this trout will not qualify. Questions are being raised weather catching a trout out of “backyard koi pond” should qualify. Also, questions are being raised that since the trout was put in that pond unnaturally, who knew how big it when it was put in there?

So what do you think? Should the record stand or be disqualified? I don’t think I want to make that decision.

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There’s a New Maine Rainbow Trout Record, But Should It Count?