Trout Creek angler lands state record largescale sucker
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: July 2, 2024

KALISPELL — Montana has a new state record largescale sucker.

Wade Merschat, 12, of Trout Creek, used a nightcrawler to land a 6.72-pound largescale sucker from Noxon Reservoir in Sanders County on June 19. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists verified the state record and issued Merschat his state record certificate on July 1. The fish measured 25.25 inches long.

The previous record was 6.16 pounds set in June 2008 from Woodland Park Pond in Kalispell. It measured 23.1 inches long.

The sucker family is the third largest family of fish in Montana with nine species, behind only the minnow and salmonid (trout) families. The largescale sucker is native to Montana’s western drainage. In Montana, the maximum size is usually less than 5 pounds.

FWP maintains the list of record fish online at

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 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.
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