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MOUNTAIN HOME -- Mike Bowers of Abilene, Kan., broke a 33-year-old state record on Sept. 29 by catching a 10-pound, 2-ounce, 26-inch cutthroat trout on the North Fork of the White River.

The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission certified the weight Oct. 5.

Bowers caught the trout while fishing with Jack Wickersham on a No. 15 baitholder hook tipped with salmon eggs in the Lake Norfork Tailwater.

Initially, Bowers thought he hooked a brown trout until he saw the cutthroat's distinctive markings. He weighed the fish at Gene's Trout Dock.

"Several of them said, 'That's a new state record'," Bowers said. "Those guys all started taking pictures and I didn't know a one of them. Guys were coming down to the dock from out of their cabins or floating over there to see it."

The previous record, caught Oct. 6, 1985, weighed 9 pounds, 9 ounces.

The trout was caught during a minimum flow period at about 12:30 p.m. Bowers and Wickersham immediately took the fish to the Game and Fish Commission's office in Mountain Home to weigh it officially. Christy Graham, the commission's trout management program supervisor, certified the weight.

Graham said the cutthroat was raised by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Norfork National Fish Hatchery and stocked in either 2008 or 2011.

"It was missing an adipose fin, which is a sign of a fish we stocked," Graham said. "It's great to see that fish we stocked as recently as 7-10 years ago have reached state-record size. We've heard lots of reports from anglers about big [20-plus inches] cutthroat trout being caught on Norfork Tailwater, and this new record confirms that it is an exceptional fishery."

The Norfork Tailwater has produced multiple line-class world records for brown, rainbow, cutthroat and brook trout, according to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame. The minimum length limit for trout on the Norfork Tailwater is 24 inches, with a creel limit of one fish per day. The regulation took effect Jan. 1.

Sports on 10/14/2018

Print Headline: Kansas angler lands record cutthroat trout


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