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State Record Splake Once Again Hauled In From Ririe Reservoir

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 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.

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