DILLON - Not since Forrest Gump and The Lion King ruled the box office was a fish this size caught in the Dillon Reservoir.
Earlier this month, a doctor visiting Colorado from Virginia was fishing at Dillon Reservoir with her husband.
Lindsay Regali describes herself as a 'casual angler.'
"There was an ongoing joke throughout the day that I was jealous of how many fish my husband had been catching," said Regali. "I was laughing and joking around because I realized I had finally caught one that I knew was bigger than his. I realized it was big but had no idea how big until we got it in the boat."
When she reeled it in, she discovered the fish, a nearly two-foot long arctic char, weighed in at 4.15 pounds!
Colorado Parks and Wildlife certified the fish as the new state record, breaking the previous record of 3.75 pounds and 20.5 inches, caught in Dillon Reservoir in 1994 by Marshall Brenner.
Dr. Regali, of Charlottesville, had been taking in the sights and enjoying a chilly day of fishing at altitude in Dillon Reservoir with her husband Luke Newcomb and local guide Randy Ford of Alpine Fishing Adventures when she landed the lunker on Nov. 6, according to Colorado Parks and Wildlife.
CPW first began stocking arctic char in Dillon in the 1990s. After a 10-year break, agency biologists began stocking the slow-growing fish again between 2008-15.
Arctic char is a cousin to salmon and lake trout.
Anglers fishing for the char in Dillon Reservoir can keep one fish over 20 inches. All arctic char less than 20 inches must be returned to the water immediately, per CPW rules.
Dillon Reservoir is the only public body of water in the lower 48 states, outside of Maine, in which arctic char can be caught. Most populations are found in Canada and the arctic regions.
What's the largest fish ever caught in Colorado (and documented by CPW)?
That would be a 50-pound Mackinaw caught in the Blue Mesa Reservoir (Gunnison County) in 2007 by Donald Walker. It was nearly four-feet long!
See all the record-holding anglers here.
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