A Northwest Colorado man is the proud owner of a state record for the largest Green River cutthroat trout.
Rob Peckham, 48, of Oak Creek, caught the trout in August in the Colorado River below the Green Mountain Dam.
The fish was 33 inches long and weighed 17 pounds and 2.6 ounces.
The Colorado Division of Wildlife recently confirmed that Peckham's catch was the biggest Green River cutthroat ever caught in Colorado.
A life-long fisherman, Peckham caught the gigantic fish using a rainbow colored lure and spin-casting equipment.
Peckham told the Division of Wildlife he has fished the section below the dam several times and had seen big trout there.
Typically a fly fisherman, Peckham said he switched to spinning gear because he didn't think he could reel in a giant fish with a fly rod, according to a statement from the DOW.
"I knew there were big fish in there, but I was surprised when I caught one," Peckham said.
The fish is not native to Colorado, but the DOW has established Peckham's catch as the record for the Snake River cutthroat category. The DOW maintains a separate category for the Colorado River, Greenback and Rio Grande, all of which are native cutthroat species.
The largest native cutthroat recorded in the state was a 16-pounder taken from Twin Lakes in 1964, according to the division. The exact species is not known. But it was caught before the division started stocking the Snake River variety, said Robin Knox, the agency's sport fish coordinator.
DOW spokesman Joe Lewandowski said a person put the fish in the water.
The fish could have been stocked in one of the private ponds in the region and migrated to the river, Lewandowski said.