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New state record for large scale sucker fish caught in western Montana

large-scale sucker fish record
Posted at 3:20 PM, Jul 02, 2024

NOXON — A new state record largescale sucker fish was caught by a 12-year-old in Sanders County.

Wade Merschat caught the record-breaking fish in the Noxon Reservoir using a nightcrawler on June 19. This fish was 6.72 pounds and 25.25 inches long.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks (FWP) biologists verified the fish state record and issued the state record certificate on July 1.

The previous record was set in 2008 at Woodland Park Pond in Kalispell. The largescale sucker fish is a native fish and its maximum size is usually less than five pounds.

FWP maintains the list of record fish online at

Anglers who think they may have caught a state record fish should take the following steps:

  • To prevent loss of weight, do not clean or freeze the fish. Keep the fish cool, preferably on ice.
  • Take a picture of the fish.
  • Weigh the fish on a certified scale (found in grocery store, hardware store, etc.), witnessed by a store employee or other observer. Obtain a weight receipt and an affidavit from the store personnel if no FWP official is present. Measure the length and girth.
  • Contact the nearest FWP office to have the fish positively identified by a fisheries biologist.