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New Steelhead State Record
Released, 39.25 Inches

by Staff
Bonners Ferry Herald, April 13, 2021

Scott Turner shows off a 39.25-inch steelhead from the South Fork Clearwater River, setting a new catch/release state record. Scott Turner of Boise set a new catch-and-release state record for steelhead. Scott landed the seagoing monster trout on April 11 on the South Fork Clearwater River.

The fish measured 39.25 inches long -- beating Samuel Brumbaugh's previously held record by 1.25 inches.

As an avid angler, Turner has set multiple other records on a variety of species. This spring, he was on a quest to reclaim the top steelhead spot after a different angler had broken his previous 2017 record.

Steelhead over 30 inches are pretty rare in most of Idaho, and one over 35 inches is even rarer. If we look at the trapping numbers from Lower Granite Dam, we can get a good sense of just how rare a steelhead like this is.

During the last 13 years, Idaho Fish and Game biologists have trapped and measured about 224,000 steelheads at Lower Granite Dam as they return to Idaho, so there are some very accurate data on steelhead sizes.

On average, steelhead over 35 inches long only makes up about .6% of the total run. Larger steelhead is even rarer, with fish over 38 inches making up only 0.002% of those crossing Lower Granite Dam, which might only mean a few dozen fish in a given year.

Steelhead fishing on the South Fork Clearwater remains open through April 30.

Graphic: Steelhead from different drainages in the NW have at least three different age classes of smolts leaving each year.

New Steelhead State Record Released, 39.25 Inches
Bonners Ferry Herald, April 13, 2021

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