HELENA — For the third time in less than 15 months, the state record has been broken for a longnose sucker in Montana according to FWP.
Montana Angler Jonathan Miller used a jig to land his 4.78-pound, 22¼-inch cypriniform freshwater 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 longnose sucker has the greatest statewide distribution of any sucker species in Montana. It is found in all three of our major drainages and from mountainous streams to plains reservoir habitats. In the springtime, spawning migrations into small tributaries are common and males develop bright red colors on their bodies. Longnose suckers are one of the most frequently caught fish by Montana anglers.
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.
The longnose sucker record is one of several record fish caught in the state in recent years.
In March, retired Helena Police Chief Steve Hagenset the Montana state record for the Utah chub. Hagen landed the fish on March 7 while on Canyon Ferry Reservoir. The fish weighed in at 2.39 pounds and measured 15.9 inches in length and 10.4 inches in girth. The previous record Utah chub, caught at Canyon Ferry in 1992, weighed 1.81 pounds.
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.