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Catch and release record cutthroat caught on North Fork of CDA River

by Ralph Bartholdt
Staff Writer | June 25, 2020 1:00 AM

A Coeur d’Alene angler landed the latest Westslope cutthroat trout catch and release record earlier this month on the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River.

Tom Weadick caught the 21-inch cutthroat while fly fishing June 19, according to Idaho Fish and Game.

Since catch and release records were adopted by the state, anglers have taken advantage of the slot openings to land in the record books.

Weadick told Fish and Game he carried a tape measure and camera because he anticipated catching a big trout in the North Fork. He documented the catch, which was confirmed by the department.

A 19½ inch cutthroat caught by Dwaine Hasenoehrl had been in the top catch and release record slot for the past four years. Hasenoehrl caught his record in February in the Lochsa River.

Weadick held the catch and release record for a 17½ inch bull trout caught last July in the St. Joe River, but that record was topped just four days later by Aaron Fox, who caught a 29-inch bull trout — a native char often found in the same rivers as Westslope cutthroat trout — in Lake Pend Oreille.

Weadick had topped a bull trout catch and release record of 27 inches caught in the East Fork of the Salmon River in 2018.

Westslope cutthroat trout — named for their habitat primarily on the west side of the Rocky Mountains — are native to the Columbia River Basin from central and northern Idaho northward to British Columbia.

Idaho has several different cutthroat subspecies including natives such as the Bonneville, Westslope, Yellowstone, and the Lahontan cutthroat, a sunspecies that was introduced to Idaho’s more alkaline southern waters.

To be considered for the state record book, fish must be caught in publicly-accessible waters with legal fishing methods during an open season. For more information visit the Idaho Fish and Game website.