Once declared extinct in the Pyramid Lake system, Lahontan cutthroat trout are certainly doing well since their reintroduction into the system in the early 2000s. So well indeed that an angler landed an estimated 39-inch Lahontan on Valentine’s Day this year. Quinn Pauley was enjoying a quiet day on the banks of the lake after his friends had to leave to celebrate Valentine’s Day back home when he hooked a huge fish.

Quinn Pauley with the approx. 39-in Lahontan that he estimates weighed close to 30 lb. Photo from Reno Gazette Journal.

Now it’s common knowledge that the trout in Pyramid Lake grow to otherworldly proportions, and prior to their declared extinction, were known to hit sizes of 40 lbs and rumored to top the measuring tape out at 50 inches. And Pauley’s catch is supposed to be the largest of the Pilot Peak strain (Raised in Gardnerville at the Lahontan fish hatchery) landed since the reintroduction of the Pilot Peak fish began in the early 2000s.

The fish was a Pilot Peak strain, born and raised at the Lahontan Hatchery in Gardnerville. Quinn said he could tell because the adipose fin had been clipped. After bringing the fish to hand, Quinn managed to capture some video of his catch before safely releasing the fish back to the lake.

You can read the full story of the incredible catch in an interview with Quinn Pauley, here!

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