When you're a kid, do you really care about what the species is when you land a whopper?

We will confidently proclaim "Heck no!" And when that whopper is a new Montana state record, that just makes it all the better. And a Montana youngster is celebrating the
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has officially certified that the state's new largescale sucker was landed recently (June 19) on Noxon Rapids Reservoir by 12-year-old Wade Mershat of Trout Creek. So Wade was essentially fishing from his back yard. Or maybe front yard.


FWP verified the record and issued Wade his state record certificate on July 1. The fish measured just over 25 inches in length and tipped the scales at 6.72 pounds, breaking the previous record of 6.16 pounds. That fish was caught in Woodland Park Pond in Kalispell in 2008.
Wade's intense tactical approach? Throw a nightcrawler out there and see what happens.

The sucker family is the third largest family of fish in Montana with nine species. The largescale sucker is native to Montana’s western drainage. They usually average less than 5 pounds in size. In Montana, the maximum size is usually less than 5 pounds.

While hardly a prized game or trophy fish, a record is a record and probably means a lot to a 12-year-old.


The early 2020s saw a flurry of state record-breaking fish, but things have quieted down a lot since then, at least until now. Montana FWP maintains the list of record fish online. If you're a fishing nerd like me, it's  fun to check those out now and then at this page of their website.

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, hardware and sporting goods stores. Make sure you have an employee as a witness.

>Contact the nearest FWP office to have the fish positively identified by a fisheries biologist.

Congratulations, Wade! Unless it's another youngster looking to claim your title, we hope that record stands for a long time!

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