For most fishermen a 20-pound trout is a trophy, but for Paiute tribe members and fish biologists here the one Matt Ceccarelli caught was a victory.
That Lahontan cutthroat trout he caught last year, a remnant of a strain that is possibly the largest native trout in North America, is the first confirmed catch of a fish that was once believed to have gone extinct. The fish has been the focus of an intense and improbable federal and tribal effort to restore it to its home waters.
“I was in awe,” said Mr. Ceccarelli, 32, an engineer from Sparks, Nev., of the speckled trout with hues of olive and rose.
Early settlers told stories of Pyramid Lake Lahontan cutthroats that weighed more than 60 pounds, though the official world record was a 41-pounder caught by a Paiute man in 1925. The explorer who discovered this electric-blue oasis in 1844, John Fremont, called them “salmon trout.” Mark Twain raved about their flavor. Clark Gable, the actor, chased them. President Bill Clinton and tribe members called for their restoration.
Read more at: The New York Times