Would you release a 30.5-inch rainbow trout if you caught it? David Raisch of Pocatello did, and he's now a state-record holder.
Raisch caught his record fish in late March and recently submitted it into Idaho Fish and Game's catch and release records, which allows anglers to claim a state record while letting the fish live. The program started in 2016, and it complements the traditional "certified weight" records that require anglers to weigh the fish on a certified scale, which means the fish is typically killed.
Raisch was fly fishing in the Snake River when he landed the record rainbow, which coincidentally is where the previous record of 29.3 inches was caught.
If you catch a big fish and want to enter it in the catch and release records, here are the general guidelines:
- Fish must be released alive.
- All fish must be measured and photographed in the water.
- Catch-and-Release Records are based only on the total length from snout to tip of tail. Measure the total length from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail, with lobes of tail squeezed together.
- Fish must be photographed directly next to a ruler/tape or an object of known verifiable length (such as the fishing rules booklet).
- At least one photo of the angler with the fish.
- At least one witness to the measurement and release.
- White Sturgeon records must be broken by a minimum of 2 inches.
- Records for all other species must be broken by a minimum of ½ inch.
- All applications must be submitted within 30 days of the catch date.
Here are more details on all of Idaho's record fish and how to submit fish into the record books.