Behemoth Trout With 15 Inch Girth Breaks 75-year Colorado State Record

The Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) environment agency has said that a huge trout caught back in May has broken the longest-standing fish record in the state.

State resident Tim Daniel caught the brook trout on May 23 in Monarch Lake, Grand County. Upon inspection, it measured 23-and-a-quarter inches in length, weighed 7.84 pounds, and had a girth of over 15 inches.

On July 29, CPW announced that the catch was a new state record for a brook trout—a record that had been held for 75 years since a 7.63-pound brook trout was caught in Upper Cataract Lake in 1947.

Colorado fish records are split into various categories of weight and length, with weight being the oldest category of the two.

The brook trout is also called the speckled trout and is described as "beautifully colored" by the National Wildlife Federation (NWF). The fish has yellow spots over an olive-green back while its sides transition from olive to orange or red.

Usually, a brook trout will reach a size of nine to 10 inches in length, putting Daniel's catch into perspective.

Tim Daniel with brook trout
A photo of Tim Daniel with the brook trout he caught in Colorado, shared by Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The trout broke a state record held for around 75 years. Colorado Parks and Wildlife

Daniel, who has fished in northwest Colorado for many years, said he "had no intention of breaking a record" when he headed out to fish that day with his friend Karen.

"I wasn't sure what I had hooked, but I knew it was big," he said in a CPW news release.

Jon Ewert, CPW aquatic biologist, added: "It couldn't have happened to a more deserving angler than Tim. He's just one of those guys that is always out there on the water and as a result, has an intimate knowledge of the subtle details necessary to be so successful."

Daniel's catch follows another trout record that was broken in North Carolina in February this year when a 12-pound speckled trout was caught with a homemade rod.

Brook trout are found throughout Canada and the northeastern United States, ranging as far south as the Appalachian Mountains and as far west as Minnesota.

The fish tend to live for an average of two to three years and in that time will eat a variety of insects including beetles and ants. They may also eat small fish.

Brook trout are not generally considered to be threatened, though the NWF notes that threats they face include overharvesting, floods and droughts, and the introduction of non-native fish that are more aggressive than the brook trout are.

Brook trout predators include northern water snakes, heron, kingfishers, otters, and snapping turtles.

Hunting and fishing contributes more than $3.25 billion annually to the economy of Colorado according to the Colorado Wildlife Council, with the majority of that coming from anglers.

Such activities also support more than 25,000 jobs across the state from small businesses to manufacturers to the tourism industry.