GREAT FALLS – For the third time in less than 15 months, a Montana angler has caught a new state record longnose sucker.
Jonathan Miller used a jig to land his 4.78-pound, 22¼-inch fish on May 10 from Hauser Reservoir near Helena.
The previous longnose sucker record was set in May of 2021, with a 4.21-pound fish from Holter Reservoir. That record surpassed a 3.42-pound longnose sucker caught from the Missouri River in March of 2021.
The sucker family is the third largest family of fish in Montana with nine species, behind only the minnow and salmonid (trout) families. Longnose suckers are native to the state and widely distributed across nearly all of central and western Montana.
With a total of 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 https://fwp.mt.gov/fish/anglingData/records.
Anglers who think they may have 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.
- 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.