Four-Decades-Old Salmon Record Broken, But Lasts Only 3 Hours

What if you traveled to Alaska, broke a 42-year-old pink salmon record, but it lasted only three hours before someone else broke it? Sucks to be you.

That’s what happened at the end of August to Californian Thomas Salas, who landed a huge pink salmon on the Kenai River near Soldotna. He said he was going to release the fish, but a friend convinced him to keep it, saying it might be a record, according to a story in Alaska Dispatch News.

Sure enough, when Salas took the fish to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office the 28.5-inch long fish weighed 12 pounds, 13 ounces, topping the previous state record — a 12-pound, 9-ounce fish caught on the Moose River in 1974.

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Three hours later, Robert Dubar of Incline Village, Nevada brought an even larger pink salmon into the Fish and Game office – 13 pounds, 10.6 ounces.  He caught the record-breaker in the Kenai River just downstream from the Angler’s Lodge.

When called by a local newspaper, the Peninsula Clarion, and told his record had been broken, Salas took it well.

“Really?” he was quoted as saying.  “Another guy caught a bigger fish?”

The International Game Fish Association (IGFA) world record is a 14-pound, 13-ounce pink caught 15 years ago in Monroe, Washington by Steven Lee.

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Curiously, while sports fishermen have been reporting unusually large pink salmon in Alaska this year, the overall runs – in numbers – have been poor.  The commercial catch has been one of the worst harvests since the 1970’s.