It can be a tricky thing, submitting required visual evidence, but not presenting for official certification.

But most anglers would agree that it is the right thing to do, even in pursuit of an official state record. And so it's the books for an angler in Montana's next door neighbor to the west, not far from our state's border.

The Montana Outdoor Radio Show social media team tells us that Daniel Whitesitt of Post Falls, Idaho landed a new Idaho catch-and-release state record Westslope Cutthroat Trout while fishing the Clark Fork River in northern Idaho earlier this month. Daniel must have known he had landed something pretty special, and went to work properly documenting the catch.

After landing the fish, Daniel recorded the required measurements and photos to document the fish’s impressive length before releasing the trout back into the Clark Fork.    At 25 inches long, the fish "inched" by the previous record of 24 inches set by Madison Nackos in 2021 from Idaho's Priest Lake, not far from where Daniel was fishing.

The Idaho Fish and Game says that Westslope Cutthroat Trout in central and northern Idaho rarely exceed 20 inches, which makes Daniel's fish a pretty exceptional catch. Cutthroat Trout are Idaho’s state fish, and the Westslope Cutthroat Trout is one of three subspecies native to the state.

If you ever think you might have landed a potential Montana state record fish, there is a process you must go through and some tips on how to handle that fish. You can see the rules and check out Montana state record fish on this page of the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks website.

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