Record fish pulled from Blue Mesa
The man who caught the state’s largest lake trout in Blue Mesa Reservoir was honored by Governor Bill Ritter on Monday, January 28.
Don Walker of Florence, Colo., caught the 50-pound, five-ounce trout on May 23, 2007 after struggling with it for nearly half an hour. The record lake trout, also known as a Mackinaw, weighed nearly four pounds more than the previous record lake trout, caught in 2003.
The two previous record holders were also in Denver to show off their prize fish. Matt Smiley of Denver and Larry Cornell of Canon City held records in 2003. Their fish weighed in at just over 40 lbs each. Cornell, who is also Walker’s brother-in-law, was present in May when Walker caught the new record Mackinaw.
According to Ritter spokesman Craig Bannister, “The Governor is an avid fly fisherman and was happy to invite the three record-setting anglers to the State Capitol to honor their achievement.”
Blue Mesa Reservoir is one of Colorado’s most productive fisheries. The water warms up more than other higher-elevation reservoirs, which encourages abundant growth of phyto- and zooplankton—microorganisms that provide a food source for fish. Kokanee salmon, brown trout and rainbow trout thrive in the lake. In turn, those fish are a food source for lake trout, a predator species.