World's Largest kokanee

Wallowa Lake, Ore., USA -- Ron Campbell, 61,  of Pendleton, Ore., a private fire investigator and avid angler, landed a 27 inches long kokanee, tipping the scales at 9.67 pounds, at Wallowa Lake - setting the new world record for the Largest kokanee.

The previous World Record for the largest kokanee is a 22-year-old record -- a 9 pound, 6 ounce kokanee caught in Canada's Okanagan Lake.

    The World's Largest kokanee is a sockeye salmon that spends its entire life cycle in fresh water rather than migrating to the ocean.

   Campbell's fish might actually have been heavier than its 9.67-pound official weight, because Campbell waited until nearby markets opened to weigh the fish on a certified scale, as required to claim a record. Fish typically lose weight sitting in the fish box. 
    While the attention of landing a world record has been far greater, Campbell is no stranger to big fish. In 1985, he landed a state-record largemouth bass at McKay Reservoir near Pendleton. That record has since been topped several times.

     At 4,300 feet elevation, Wallowa Lake is 320 miles east of Portland in a hauntingly beautiful setting of granite alpine peaks, timbered foothills and 950-feet glacial moraines. It's 4 1/2 miles long with 8 1/2 miles of shoreline.

    In most lakes, a typical kokanee weighs closer to one pound. Wallowa Lake's kokanee are exceptionally large due to the presence of a non-native freshwater shrimp, Mysis relicta, released into the lake in the 1960s.

    Although kokanee typically are plankton feeders (especially zooplankton, or tiny aquatic animals), some have adapted to feeding on the large shrimp.

    This year's kokanee may be especially big because there is a smaller class of fish overall, leaving more forage for the remaining fish.


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