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State Tiger Trout Record Rescinded

When an Idaho angler who goes by the name of Kody King notified Fish and Game about a record-breaking tiger trout he allegedly caught the night before, conservation officers quickly became suspicious.

The Southeast Regional Office for Idaho Fish and Game issued a news release on May 30, 2023 following the record breaking catch stating that Kody King had caught the new “certified weight” state record for tiger trout.

Kody King caught the 29-inch trout while fishing his native waters of Montpelier Reservoir. King allegedly kept the trout, with the impression he might have a new state record. The previous record of 4.8 pounds was held by Gatlynn Mayes, this fish was caught in Becker Pond back in 2020. King’s Tiger Trout easily surpassed this record weighing in at 8.47 pounds.

King left a voicemail with Kolby White, a senior conservation officer for Idaho Fish and Game on May 26, 2023 stating that he had caught the record breaking fish the night before. Kolby later saw an image of the fish catch and immediately became suspicious as the fish didn’t seem to be caught at night time. It was later discovered that King did not purchase a license beforehand, only having a one-day, non-resident fishing license around 2 p.m. the day he claimed the fish was caught.

White later went to the Montpelier Reservoir to conduct an investigation as well as take pictures of the location this fish was caught. White then discovered that based on his photographs and previous history with the location that the fish was likely caught between the times of noon and 1 p.m. He then approached King with his findings, where he subsequently admitted to catching and killing the fish before purchasing a license, then later driving to town with the intent of purchasing one.

Kody King was then charged with fishing without a license and unlawful possession of wildlife.

On Oct. 25, 2023, King pleaded guilty to these charges. His punishment included paying fines and restitution in the amount of $983, having all hunting, fishing and trapping licenses revoked for a year, and releasing a public statement of apology that would be printed in Montpelier’s newspaper.

A portion of King’s public statement reads, “I am deeply sorry to inform you that the state record fish I caught was illegal, as I did not possess the necessary fishing license at the time. I understand the importance of following the rules and regulations that govern our community, and I am truly remorseful for my actions. I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere apologies to each and every member of our community. My actions were thoughtless and irresponsible, and I fully accept the consequences of my behavior. I have pled guilty to the charge of fishing without a license, as well as keeping a fish illegally and I am cooperating with the authorities to rectify this situation.”

King’s record tiger trout catch was subsequently rescinded and the 4.8 pound record caught by Gatlynn Mayes in 2020 was restored.