On September 5, Saskatchewan fisherman Sean Konrad caught a 48-pound, world-record rainbow trout. The fish came from Lake Diefenbaker, where trout genetically engineered to grow extra-big escaped from a fish farm nine years ago...
Technically known as triploids, they’re designed with three sets of chromosomes, making them sterile and channeling energies normally spent reproducing towards growth.
In 2007, on a message board of the International Game Fish Association, the angling world’s record- and ethics-keeping body, some fishermen argued that triploids were unnatural, as divorced from the sport’s history as Barry Bonds’ home runs were from Hank Aaron’s.
The IGFA refused to make a distinction between natural and GM fish. Neither would they distinguish between species caught in their traditional waters and those introduced into new, growth-friendly environments, such as largemouth bass whose extra-large ancestors were imported from Florida to California in the 1960s.
But to purists, there was a difference between transplantation and outright manufacture.
The Konrad brothers’ response on the message board was curt: “Stop crying and start fishing.”
Big Gary, the Museum's Deputy Curator in Charge of Fish, says: "I'm voting 'cheat' on this one, but it's an interesting debate nonetheless."