Craig’s Steve Walls catches large mackinaw in Flaming Gorge

Walls lets 40-year-old fish go, urges fishers to catch and release

Craig Daily Press Staff Report
Steve Walls holds up a mackinaw (lake trout) he recently caught in Utah's Flaming Gorge. The fish is 43 inches long and is estimated to be about 37 pounds. Walls digitally altered the background of the photo to protect his fishing spot. He also let this fish go after catching it to keep the site well-stockd.

Craig resident Steve Walls has a good fishing story to tell, but he also has photographic proof of his catch. However, his snapshot won’t help any copycats accomplish the same feat of picking up a big mack.

And, no, not the one from McDonald’s.

Walls recently landed a sizable mackinaw, or lake trout, last Saturday at Utah’s Flaming Gorge.

The eager angler said he has spent the past two years working to catch such a big fish, though the water-dweller’s exact details are uncertain. Walls measured it at 43 inches long but couldn’t get an accurate weight due to a malfunctioning scale.

He estimates it was about 37 pounds and likely around 40 years old based on its mass.

Catching it was a battle of about 25 minutes, during which Walls twice nearly emptied his spool of fishing line.

And, after getting its picture taken by Walls’ wife, the gilled quarry went right back into the drink. The photo’s background has been digitally altered to not give away the precise location.

Walls said he believes sportsmen should get their biggest catches reproduced artificially based on dimensions so that the large fish can swim on and maybe meet another fisherman another day.

“I encourage anyone who catches a big mack to release them for this reason,” he said. “If everyone kept the trophy fish from Flaming Gorge, it would greatly diminish the world-class fishery.”

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