September 14, 2009
New Record Brown vs. New Record Rainbow: Apples and Oranges?
By Kirk Deeter
By now, most of you have heard that not only one, but two pending world record trout were caught in recent days. This fish pictured here, the pending world record brown trout, was caught September 9 by Tom Healy of Rockford, Michigan, in the Manistee River. It weighed 41 pounds 7 ounces. It more than likely followed the salmon upriver from Lake Michigan before falling for a Rapala Shad Rap.
According to this report from ESPNOutdoors.com, on September 5, Sean Konrad broke the world record for rainbow trout by landing a 48-pounder on Saskatchewan's Lake Diefenbaker. The former record, which we reported on this site two years ago, was held by Sean's twin brother, Adam.
The thing is, the rainbow is most likely a triploid, a sterile, genetically-altered fish, raised for commercial production, which escaped from a local fish farm several years earlier.
Goodness knows, having the angling skills and dedication to land either of these fish is remarkable. Amazing. Worthy of the highest respect. But one also has to wonder, in the context of maintaining some level of integrity in the record books, if we're talking about an apples-to-oranges comparison here. Is one a clean record, and the other (literally) steroid-tainted? Should the record discussion revolve around the fish, or the angler who catches said fish? You decide...