GREAT FALLS — For the second time in less than a week, Holter Reservoir (also known as Holter Lake) near Helena has produced a new fish for the Montana record book, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP).
On May 14, Austin Wargo landed a longnose sucker weighing 4.21 pounds. Wargo used a jig to catch his fish, which was 19.5 inches long with a girth of more than 12 inches. He beat the previous record for longnose sucker, which was set just weeks ago by Jacob Bernhardt in Great Falls; Jacob's fish weighed 3.42 pounds and was 20.1 inches long.
Wargo’s fish is yet another in what has already been a busy time for new fish records in Montana, with eight new records set in the previous 10 months. Just four days before Wargo’s sucker was landed from Holter, a new state record walleye weighing more than 18 pounds was also caught there. Other recent record fish from around the state include a chinook salmon caught last August, a smallmouth bass in October, a yellow bullhead in December, a brown trout in February, and a largemouth bass in April.
- State record walleye caught in Holter Lake
- State record large-mouth bass caught in Lake Elmo
- Great Falls angler catches state record longnose sucker
- Conrad man recounts catching state-record brown trout
If you catch a fish in Montana that you think might be a record, FWP says:
- 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 or 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 or Manager.