‘Honest mistake’ causes fisherman to lose record for lake trout

An Idaho man on an annual fishing trip to the Flame Gorge in Utah landed a 57-pound lake trout that measured 48 inches for a state record in the catch-and-release category.

Sidney Cellan of Soda Springs caught the massive lake trout in the famous fishery in July, but the record got away this week over an "honest mistake."

"Our guide estimated this fish was probably about 50 to 60 years old," Cellan said at the time, as reported by Idaho State Journal. "It took me about 30 minutes to reel it in."

After measuring the lake trout and getting a photo, Cellan released the fish back into the water "so somebody else can catch it."

At the time of the catch, the 48-inch lake trout was declared a state record that surpassed the previous catch-and-release record of 46.5 inches set by Ray Johnson in 1998.

But on Tuesday, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources announced that Cellan's record "unfortunately" had to be revoked.

"It was an honest mistake—and an incredible catch—but the angler's fishing license had expired a couple of days before he caught the 48-inch lake trout,” the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wrote on Facebook. “The previous record of 46.5 inches set by Ray Johnson in 1998 still stands."

How Cellan reacted to the news was unknown.

"This serves as a good reminder to make sure you have a valid license before you go fishing," the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wrote. "We are reviewing our record fish application process and will make the necessary changes to ensure this type of error doesn't happen again. On the bright side, the 48-inch fish is still out there. We hope you’ll try to go catch him!"

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