Congratulations to Scott Turner of Boise, Idaho on setting a new catch-and-release state record for steelhead. Scott landed the monster sea-going trout on April 11 on the South Fork Clearwater. The fish measured 39.25 inches long – beating Samuel Brumbaugh’s previously held record by 1.25 inches.
As an avid angler, Turner has set multiple other records on a variety of species. This spring, he was on a quest to reclaim the top steelhead spot after his previous 2017 record had been broken.
Steelhead over 30 inches are pretty rare in most of Idaho, and one over 35 inches is VERY rare. If we look at the trapping numbers from Lower Granite Dam, we can get a good sense of just how rare a steelhead like this is. During the last 13 years, Idaho Fish and Game biologists has trapped and measured about 225,000 steelhead at Lower Granite Dam as they return to Idaho, so there is some very accurate data on steelhead sizes. On average, steelhead over 35 inches long only make up about 0.9% of the total run. Larger steelhead are even more rare, with fish over 40inches making up only 0.002% of those crossing Lower Granite Dam, which might only mean a half-dozen fish in any given year.
Steelhead fishing on the South Fork Clearwater remains open through April 30, and you can the latest information on our steelhead fishing page.