January 26, 2004
RIRIE - Once again, an incidental catch at Ririe Reservoir sets the
Idaho state splake record. On May 22, 2006 while trolling near Ririe
Dam, Brian Allison of Idaho Falls caught the new state record splake,
measuring in at a hefty 10 pounds 12 ½ ounces. It was 28.5 inches
long and had an 18 7/8 inch girth.
Splake are a non-native hybrid fish. They are a cross between a
female lake trout and a male brook trout. Their name is a composite
of speckled trout (the nickname of brook trout and lake trout. These
hybrids feed on forage fish populations, such as chubs and perch.
According to Regional Fishery Manager Jim Fredericks, "Brook trout
typically don't live more than three or four years, but the splake
in Ririe are at least seven years old and likely older. They live
much longer and get much larger than brook trout, and are more
easily caught than lake trout."
Splake identification is not straightforward, because there are no
consistently defining characteristics that distinguish them from
lake trout or brook trout. However, there are some features anglers
can look for. Splake look a lot like brook trout, but have more of a
fork to their tail. They also have more worm track markings, called
vermiculations, on their backs than a lake trout. Splake spouts also
have pinkish hue and often have a white, then black leading edge to
their pelvic fins. In Ririe Reservoir the biggest tell-tale
characteristic is going to be their size.
According to Fredericks, "We stocked splake in Ririe from 1993-1999,
with the majority being stocked in 1996. The previous record and
this fish are likely both eight to ten year old fish. It's difficult
to say how many are still in the reservoir." The previous 10 pound 3
ounce state record splake was caught in Ririe Reservoir by Lee
Davidson back in June of 2004.
Check out the other
Idaho Fishing Records