An amateur angler from Cheyenne has written himself into local record books, after reeling in an 11.93lbs tiger trout – the largest of the hybrid species to have ever been caught in the state of Wyoming – on a casual family fishing trip. Owen Schaad captured the gigantic fish as part of a 20-strong haul whilst angling at the Viva Naughton Reservoir, just north of the City of Kemmerer in Lincoln County.
Official recognition of Schaad’s heroics came via a Wyoming Game & Fish Department (WGFD) press release, confirming that the previous state record – set by Casper resident Stan Seivewright when fishing at Rawlins’ High Savery Reservoir in May 2012 – had been surpassed. The tiger trout, the product of cross-breeding between brown trout and brook trout, is a relatively new addition to Wyoming’s freshwater population; indeed, Mr. Seivewright’s catch, which weighed in at an impressive 11.07lbs, pre-empted the establishment of the first formal ‘record’ relating to this fish.
A slightly different pursuit…
Although traditional fishing activities remain popular, there has been a notable increase in the number of people enjoying digital equivalents of this classic pastime, particularly in relation to online slot games. Fishing-themed slots are amongst some of the most actively played games at online casinos, with titles such as Go Fish, Power Fishing Megaways, and the Fishin’ Frenzy series attracting a significant number of members – regardless of their ‘in-person’ fishing experience! These games utilize many of the typical aspects we associate with fishing – such as reeling in big catches, deploying fishing equipment, and surveying different species of fish – in both their accompanying imagery and core gameplay.
The view from the WFGD
However, one thing all anglers have in common – whether fishing on-screen or down by the lake – is their desire to get their hands on a big prize. With regards to Mr Schaad’s record, the WGFD intimated that another, similar-sized catch was unlikely to transpire in the near future. Mark Smith, who works as a fisheries management coordinator at the WGFD, the governmental agency empowered to keep stewardship over the Equality State’s fish, game, and wildlife resources, confirmed as much in a recent Fox News interview.
Smith said, ‘’Fish need remarkable conditions to grow that big. As people catch those fish it becomes less likely another fish with those conditions will be caught again any time soon. Popular sport fish records tend to become stagnant over time due to the unusual environmental conditions that are required to produce exceptional-sized fish.’’
Smith’s comments will be music to Owen Schaad’s ears. The young angler described Monday 26th June – the date he hooked the enormous trout – as ‘probably the most exciting day of my life,’ and will undoubtedly be desperate to hold onto his rather unique accolade. Will another eleven years pass before Wyoming’s fishing community muster up a third record-holder? Who knows, perhaps a 12lbs tiger trout is already lurking in the depths…..