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Last Updated: Monday, 15 October 2007, 17:25 GMT 18:25 UK
'Monster' salmon caught on river
River Ness. Picture by Iain Maclean
The salmon was caught and then released back into the river
Claims a "monster" salmon caught on the River Ness in the Highlands is the largest to be hooked in the UK are being checked against record books.

Anglers are hopeful that the male, or cock salmon, will break the 64lbs (29kg) record set 85 years ago.

The anglers who caught the fish on the River Ness in Inverness at the weekend said it was 50in (127cm) long and had a girth of 40in (101cm).

Images and its measurements are to be analysed at a fisheries laboratory.

The salmon was released back into the river.

Robby Bremner, who witnessed the catch, said: "As far as I know, it's the largest fish to be caught in the Ness for some time.

Bev Street, from Skegness, laid claim to the record for Britain's biggest freshwater fish when she hooked a 66lb (29.9kg) catfish in September this year
The world's largest member of the salmon family is the taimen (hucho taimen) which are said to grow to 6.6ft (two metres) and 220lbs (99kg)
Taimen are found in Mongolia and are subject to a conservation project

"It was just one man that caught the fish although we did have to get a bigger net. It's a great feather in the cap for him and a fantastic achievement."

The catch has caused excitement on angling message boards on the internet.

One fisherman described it as the Loch Ness Monster.

He said: "The man has just caught the Loch Ness Monster. What a fish eh troops - long live the monster great to see it returned."

It has been proposed sending photographs of the salmon and its vital statistics to the Freshwater Laboratory in Pitlochry whose experts will be able estimate its weight.

In the current confirmed record, Georgina Ballantine landed her 64lb catch on 7 October 1922 from a boat on the Glendelvine stretch of the River Tay in Perthshire.

It could be the end of this week before the Ness salmon's measurements are confirmed.

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18 Sep 07 |  Highlands and Islands
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08 Aug 07 |  Highlands and Islands
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06 Jul 07 |  Highlands and Islands

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