KSL Outdoors: State record Tiger Trout

welcome to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. You know the ice fishing season may be winding down here in Utah, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get out and enjoy some high altitude fishing. Just last week, these guys right here, caught the new state record tiger trout at Scofield Reservoir.

(Chris Nilson, Payson) Well we got here probably at our normal time, around 7:00-7:30.

(Brian Nilson, Spanish Fork) this looks like a pretty good spot, almost out to where we were last time.

(Chris) and just came and set up the tent and you know we usually always do pretty decent when we come out here.

(Lloyd Nilson) we just came to have fun and we just joking around about breaking the record and that. (adam) on the way up here? (lloyd) on the way up here, joking about it because it had been one year to the day that the record had been broke.

Lloyd and Chris Nilson are brothers who just recently moved back to Utah from Southern California. Chris is more a float tube fisherman, ice fishing hadn’t been an option for the the brothers until they came home to Utah.

(Chris) I’ve probably been a total of about 10 times. (adam) ever? (chris) yeah ever.

Brian who is a cousin to Chris and Lloyd, has the most ice fishing experience and decided to bring his cousins to Scofield, his favorite place to fish.

(Brian fish) Brian’s got it, oh he was on me and he jumped over to Brian’s. I see how it is.

(Brian) you know it was just kind of a nice day, didn’t really want to care to move or anything else and we kind of started getting into fish when we got out here.

(Chris) I was just sitting back in my chair had my pole resting on my leg, giving it a couple of little taps here and there.

(hit) woo, there we go.

(Lloyd) all of a sudden Chris’ pole took a nose dive down to the ice hole and Chris was like woo.

(Chris) Tensioned up my line a little bit and my line just took off on my and I was like ok, this is going to be fun.

(Lloyd) it was chaos, excitement, adrenaline rush, it was on! We knew we had something special there when we saw it swim by we were like uh…ok. There’s a shark under here. Laughs.

(Lloyd) devil log. There you go.

(Chris) you could see the look in everyone’s face,not just mine that this was going to be something good.

(lloyd) it was coming up sideways, so we had, brian had to get down there and shove his arm halfway down the hole just to fish it up there..

(lloyd) grab him behind the gill dude. (chris) yeah that was he’s trying…oh don’t break.

(Brian) we finally got him to nose up and I tried once to grab him and he slipped and went back down. We kind of panic and was afraid that he was going to get off.

(Chris) i was freaking out in the video, please don’t break, don’t break my line.

(Brian) luckily he stayed hooked and we got another opportunity to kind of nose him up and I was able to get him behind the gills..

(Brian) talk about adrenaline, it was amazing.

(brian) that’s over thirty.

(Chris) I’m jumping out of the tent, like yeah, it was super exciting.

The guys knew they had a big fish, but because of the markings, they thought the fish might be a cutthroat.

(Chris) I went to Sportsman’s there and their head fishing guy Mike Fisher, he was no I don’t think that’s a cutthroat, let me see this picture. and I showed him the picture and he was like dude, that’s a tiger trout.

The next day, the trio went to the DWR office in Springville and confirmed the catch. 32 and 3/4 inches, 20 and a 1/2 inch girth, with a weight of 18 pounds 4 ounces, that makes Chris’ fish the new state record tiger trout, beating the old record, caught one year to the date, at the same reservoir, by more than three pounds.

(Chris) I actually caught it on the brand called a ratso. it’s like a small little lime green color and that’s what is left of it right there. by the time I got done pulling it in.

The small ratso, barely held up, giving these cousins one heck of a great story.

(Brian) I couldn’t be happier for Chris, all the attention, the media, everything, it’s been pretty fun.

(Lloyd) I was glad one of us in the family broke the record, that was amazing.

(Chris) yeah hopefully it doesn’t get broken a year to the date this time…Laughs.

(TAG) Your not married so it can go on the wall right? Girlfriend doesn’t have any say yet or does she? (chris) she’s trying to stop me from hanging it on the wall. (adam) they do that. (chris) she says it goes in the bedroom where no one can see it. (adam) congratulations, thanks for having me out today. (Chris) yeah thank you, a lot of fun today, it was good. (adam) hey we’ve got more here coming up on KSL Outdoors.

(volunteer) big healthy bird, really nice.

Sportsman and the DWR come together to release thousands of pheasants with high hopes of re-establishing wild populations.

(Lynn) hopefully we are putting them out on good enough habitat, so they can be successful.

(adam) that in just a moment, but first tonights quiz question.


(intro) Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Adam Eakle. Meet Wesley and Brigham, you guys like to hunt? (boys) yeah. (adam) when I was there age, lots of pheasants around Utah, now a days, as you know not as many. The Division of Wildlife Resources and Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife are hoping to change that.

(lynn in truck) you ready. (adam) lets do it.

It was early in the morning two weeks ago when members of Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife, along with biologists from the DWR entered the Pahvant Wildlife Management area, the goal, release some of the 1900 pheasants, they had driven up from Blanding.

(Troy Justensen, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife) it started about a year ago. I went on a trip back to South Dakota hunting whitetails and you see all the pheasants there and we came back and had a meeting in Richfield and we thought you know what lets do something like that here. Why can’t we get our birds back and so it was born in a committee there and we decided that hey we are going to raise some funds, we committed to buy 3K birds, we got with the division and Lynn Zubeck and they were all excited about it so we put this program together.

The idea is to release two thousand birds every year for the next three years on WMA’s across Central Utah. A majority of the birds released are hens.

(Troy) We’ve got Glenwood, Redmond, Anabella, and we even sent some to the Bicknell bottoms and now we are over here on the Pahvant Upland Game Management unit and we’ll head to Clear Lake and probably send a few birds out to Topaz.

SFW is picking up the tab for the birds, an estimated thirty five thousand dollars.

Pheasant numbers have declined statewide the past couple of decades due to changes in farming practices and development. Lynn has spent years trying to improve the habitat on these WMA’s and believes he now has good habitat to support not just pheasants, but many other types of wildlife.

(Lynn Zubeck) the first thing we did here was put in a permanent water source that we could use for wildlife. From there we began planting trees and putting trees on drip lines.

(Lynn Zubeck) we plant a variety of trees here, we plant Eastern Red Cedar, Russian Olive, Buffalo berry, shrub, some golden current.

(Lynn) and the thing that’s best is the tall wheat grass that’s growing here and continues to come back year after year, provides a great food source and great nesting habitat.

(Troy) we need a good spring and cards to fall our way and hopefully we’ll have wild populations back here where the whole state can come back here and hunt these WMA’s and enjoy it.

(Adam) so over the next three years six thousand hens and a few roosters to help the population get going will be released here on these WMA’s. We’ll let you know how the birds are doing and the opportunity that they are creating for both hunters and for people who just love wild things. Hey let’s head back now to the guys at Fish Tech for tonights fishing report.


(Tonya Kieffer, UDWR, KSL Outdoors Correspondent) Welcome back to KSL Outdoors, I’m Tonya Kieffer. So right now we have a real life ” Hunger Games” going on here in the state of Utah, downtown Salt Lake. We have 28 schools with 670 kids involved in the National Archery in the Schools program. They are here competing for the state title.

RaLynne Takeda, DWR Hunter Ed Assistant Coordinator) It’s a great way to get kids involved in outdoor activities.

(RaLynne) I think it’s a great opportunity for the parents to have something for their kids to do. I mean, some of these smaller communities, there’s not much out there for kids to do if they aren’t participating in sports and this gives them something to do.

The program is designed for students in the fourth through twelfth grade. Here is doesn’t matter how fast, how tall, or how strong you are, only that you can hit.

The bullseye.

(Eliece Jenkins) It doesn’t tailor to any specific group. That’s what I like about it. Anybody can come learn how and get better at it.

(RaLynne) We train the teachers to then take the program back to their schools. It’s designed to be a two week course during gym class but a lot of the schools have realized, the kids want more, and their also offering it as an after school program or as an archery club.

(Eliece Jenkins, PG, Manilla Elementary, Physical education teacher) It’s a great confidence booster to see them achieve, and see them make friends, as they spread across the grade levels They’ve got to focus. It’s a focus sport. They’ve got to just focus in on what their doing.

(Trevor) I think I could give up basketball and football for this, it’s really fun.

(Trevor Thornton, 6th Grade, Manilla Elementary) It’s really fun, um cuz like I go hunting and everything and it’s fun to shoot and all my classmates are here, too, so its fun to hang out with them.

(Julie Thornton, MOM) I am all about outdoors. I’m all about activity , and so I love that he’s involved with anything that involves his body movement. I’d much rather that than sitting at home watching video games.

This program bridges the gap between all ages, race, gender and reinforces necessary skills, like focus, confidence.

(Sara Reichert, PG 6th grader, Manilla Elementary) How to be patient. I’m not really patient with my brothers. How to concentrate and not be nervous for other things in my life.

(Sara Reichert) It’s really fun. It’s something to get your mind off like everyday stuff. I’d tell other kids to do it because it’s a way for you to get out in the real world and get a fun experience.

(Paul Reichert, Sara’s Dad) Discipline, self confidence. She’s found something she’s good at that her other siblings haven’t done, and so she’s found her own self, and getting into that and having a good time at it.

(Paul) In this day of budget cuts, it’s good to see something new come in that they can that’s out of the ordinary.

(Ralynne) Once they do archery, it’s a lifelong sport, and you can continue with archery until your 89 years old if you want.

(Tonya Kieffer, KSL Correspondent) Tonya- Sara, what do you think you learned today in this competition. Sara- Confidence and Patience. Tonya- Confidence and patience. You guys this is what its all about. Coming to a program like this. It’s not just about hunting. Might have been a ” Hunger Games” spree that we had going on but ya know, whatever it takes to get kids outdoors. And now let’s dive into tonight’s Utah Field Guide.

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