Franklin County resident Richard Galloway may have caught the Idaho state record rainbow trout, but he will never be the official record-holder.
As required by state law, Galloway, who resides in Cub River east of Preston, released the monster fish back into Northern Idaho’s Clearwater River where he caught it in early March this year.
The moment the fish swam away, and because Galloway did not adhere to other requirements, his chance of being the new record-holder vanished.
It sounds like a fishy story, but it happened. For proof, Galloway brought home some photographs documenting the monster rainbow.
“I think I had it on my line for 15 to 20 minutes. I was using 15-pound test, so I kind of horsed it in a little,” Galloway said. “I thought it was a steelhead.”
Mark Gamblin, Idaho Fish and Game southeast supervisor, said for a fish to be considered a state record it must meet certain requirements — none of which were met by Galloway.
“It has to be verified by an Idaho Fish and Game employee, the species must be properly identified, the fish needs to be properly weighed and measured on certified scales,” Gamblin said.
Unofficially, Galloway figured with his calculations the fish was about 36 inches long with a girth of 28 inches. He’s not sure how much it weighed.
The official record for an Idaho rainbow trout was set by Michelle Larsen-Williams, of Pingree, Bingham County.
She landed a rainbow weighing 20 pounds 2 ounces in July 2009 on the Snake River above the American Falls Reservoir.