Is this fish a world record or a cheat?


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."

Animals Sports

Posted on Sun Sep 20, 2009


Nature has been genetically modifying fish for hundreds of millions of years so what are the "purists" complaining about?
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Sun Sep 20, 2009  at  11:34 PM
I thought the main point of fishing trophies was the fisherman's skill in catching the critter, I didn't think it's parental heritage played into it. I would also argue the 'genetically engineered' statement - triploids are more like a natural anomaly which causes sterility, and have been taken advantage of to release into lakes to protect the native fish populations.
Posted by Kristen55  on  Mon Sep 21, 2009  at  01:01 AM
Yep, I agree with Kristen, surely it's not about the genetics of the fish, but the fact that the guy caught and landed it. I can see that it takes a bit away form the overall catch, that it is a genetic modification, but it's still a hard task, catching a fish of that size.
Posted by Mr R  on  Mon Sep 21, 2009  at  02:42 AM
Does anyone knows if he caught it w/a fly reel?(I doubt it).....oh museum visitors: can you please, please refrain from buying the boots mentioned above? their marketing strategy needs to be stopped; and the best we can do to achieve this; is to never, ever touch that link.....thank you... I hope Alex can charge them an ad fee, maybe a disclaimer might help.
Posted by Mario  on  Mon Sep 21, 2009  at  05:37 AM
Mario, it's spam. Moderators will delete these posts (and have been doing so) as soon as they're able.
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Mon Sep 21, 2009  at  06:33 AM
Sure it is about the skill in catching the large fish but fishing is more about the "opportunity" than the actual landing skill.

I grew along Lake Michigan and remember people catching world record fish (including rainbow trout) as a kid which does not seem to happen any more (people seem to get "state record" fish these days). I was wondering why no more "world records" as I am not much of an angler myself and I guess GM is the reason.
Posted by floormaster squeeze  on  Mon Sep 21, 2009  at  01:42 PM
So, if I took one of these trout and raised in a pool and fed it special food and then "caught" it, would I get a record?
Posted by Joe  on  Mon Sep 21, 2009  at  07:06 PM
Mariaa601, please spam off, thanks.
Posted by Mr R  on  Tue Sep 22, 2009  at  02:07 AM
This sticks in my craw as a cheat the more I think about it. If I caught this, I'd be happy, sure, but it's what I call a robo-fish.
Posted by Charles  on  Tue Sep 22, 2009  at  06:06 AM
Lay off the guy. He caught a rainbow trout the size of a European nation. It was not in a bathtub, and an enormous number of the fish caught every year by anglers were born on a fish farm. How do you think the fish population numbers are kept up year to year with commercial fisheries and all the others dragging more fish out of the water than are saleable every season? Get real. The "purists" just wish they caught the thing. 48 POUND TROUT!
Posted by Kirkw8804  on  Sat Sep 26, 2009  at  10:48 AM
Flooramster squeeze, your guess about GM is utterly worng; Catch and release is the reason that there are fewer records.

Follow this if you can: The size of fish in a body of water is related to the size of other fish in the same body of water, due to the fcat that smaller fish are kept small by a combination of physical dominance, chemical signals and the larger fish eating more food. Remove the karger fish and the remainder have a chance to grow until they are larger enough to becoem dominant, and of course fewer fish in an area means that they cna spread out and becoem larger without meeting other fish as often and becoming dominated.

Leaving the larger specimens in the ecosystem by catch and relaese will lower the naverage size of fish in the population over time: However, it does maintain a high population density so people can catch fish more often.

Is taht clear? Sometimes my expalnataions suffer form lack of clarity due to technical phrasing.
Posted by D F Stuckey  on  Sat Sep 26, 2009  at  04:34 PM
I live in Michigan as well... we have suffered from invasive species as well as change in biological situations causing die offs of game and forage fish. That is one more reason we haven't had a good deal of world records coming out of our area.

The Triploid Chinook has been planted in Lake Huron and have wire tags in their heads for identification of plant site.

This picture shows a nice stringer of Lake Michigan Salmon with a triploid as part of the catch:
Posted by oppiejoe  in  Michigan - USA  on  Thu Oct 15, 2009  at  07:13 PM
That's one huge catch you have there... I really don't care if that fish is a freak but that was really a nice catch... 😊
Posted by Janreinze  on  Thu Sep 30, 2010  at  03:09 AM
Look, if these jokers want to make a hoax of world fishing records, fine, but don't challenge us to "stop crying and start fishing". They aren't Rainbow Trout, genetically. If you know anything about aquaculture, you can't call them Rainbows. Now, all pursuant records will have to be genetically verified not to be triploid fakes. Shove off, Konrads. You do the sport a disservice.
Posted by Andrew  on  Sun Oct 24, 2010  at  04:47 PM
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