Montana anglers have landed six state-record fish since last August, according to a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
Trevor Johnson of Helena added a seventh whopper to that list on May 10 when he reeled in a nearly 3-foot-long walleye from Holter Lake near Helena. Johnson’s fish weighed in at 18.02 pounds on a certified scale, measured 32.25 inches in length and 22 inches in girth. He caught the record-setting fish on a jig, according to the release.
The previous state walleye record was set in 2007 with a 17.75-pound fish from Tiber Reservoir.
Other recent state-record fish include a chinook salmon caught last August, a smallmouth bass in October, a yellow bullhead in December, a brown trout in February, a longnose sucker in March, and a largemouth bass in April.
With 91 native and introduced fish species found in Montana, interest in fish records has increased in recent years. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks maintains the list of record fish, and it is available on FWP’s website at fwp.mt.gov/fish/anglingData/records.
Anglers who think they’ve caught a state-record fish should keep the following things in mind:
- 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.
The fish must be weighed on a certified scale (found in grocery stores or hardware stores) and 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.
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