Dentry: Carter Lake splake go to great lengths
Splake, light geese, burbot and a Thanksgiving hatchery break-in find their way into this week's mixed bag of outdoors topics.
Is there any question the next state-record splake will be caught at Carter Lake? The lake trout/brook trout hybrid has been turning up with some regularity at the foothills reservoir west of Berthoud.
One believer is Matt Snider, who caught a sleek, 32-inch fish of some char persuasion a couple of weeks ago at Carter Lake. Snider caught the fish on a fly and released it. He says it weighed 11 pounds, 3 ounces.
He e-mailed me about his catch after he saw my reference, in last Wednesday's column, to a misidentified fish that nearly broke Colorado's 59-year-old brook trout record, 7 pounds, 10 ounces.
A DNA test revealed that the new "record brookie" actually was a splake. The mistaken fish was caught at Carter Lake in 1999.
People are always mistaking splake for one parent or the other. Snider, who owns a Colorado fishing Web site, fishexplorer.com, wrote that at first he thought he had caught a lake trout.
Later, after talking with Division of Wildlife biologist Ken Kehmeier and local guide Chad LaChance, he decided his recent catch was a splake. You can see a photo of the fish at www.fishexplorer.com.
Snider says he plans to submit his catch for a Master Angler award "and possibly a catch-and-release record by length." At 32 inches, it is just as long as the state record splake by weight and a foot longer than the current length record.
The old weight record has been around since 1976. That 32-inch splake, caught at Island Lake on Grand Mesa, weighed a robust 18 pounds, 15 ounces.
The modern state record for splake by length now is 20 inches, for a fish caught at 21-acre Button Rock Reservoir, west of Lyons.