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Snake River angler reels in latest record catch-and-release Yellowstone cutthroat trout

| August 20, 2020 1:00 AM

A Yellowstone cutthroat trout bigger than your arm?

That’s what a Texas angler caught earlier this month in the Snake River in Eastern Idaho.

Sam Hix of Bellaire, Texas, set the latest Idaho catch-and-release record when he hooked and landed a 30 1/2-inch Yellowstone cutthroat.

Yellowstone cutthroat trout are mainly found in Eastern Idaho and are native to the Snake River from Shoshone Falls upstream to its headwaters, and they are one of four subspecies found in Idaho

Hix’s fish tops the long-standing record of 28 1/2 inches set by Nate Ivy in 2016, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

A 21 1/2-inch Yellowstone cutthroat caught in Henry’s Lake briefly held the state’s catch and release record, also in 2016.

Idaho Fish and Game keeps state records for all game fish including Yellowstone, Bonneville, Westslope and Lahontan cutthroat subspecies.

Four years ago Idaho angler Cyndle Clift caught a 28-inch, 7.9-pound Yellowstone cutthroat trout in the South Fork of the Snake River near the Wyoming border. The fish was considered by many to be an Idaho state record.

Although Yellowstone cutthroat trout are considered one of the most abundant trout species in the mountain West, declines in numbers and habitat led to a petition in 1998 to list Yellowstone cutthroat trout under the Endangered Species Act. A court-ordered status review however found the species did not warrant federal protection.

Westslope cutthroat are the predominant native trout species found in lakes and streams in North Idaho.

The catch-and-release record program began in 2016 as a way to recognize anglers that wanted to release the trophy fish they caught. For more information see IDFG’s website.

— Press staff


Cyndle Clift caught this huge Yellowstone cutthroat trout in 2016 on the South Fork of the Snake River. The latest catch and release record exceeds it by almost 3 inches. (Photo courtesy of Cyndle Clift)