NewsMontana and Regional News


Boy lands Montana-record largescale sucker

Wade Merschat used a nightcrawler to land a 6.72-pound largescale sucker
Posted at 2:50 PM, Jul 02, 2024

GREAT FALLS — A boy from Trout Creek recently landed a big one - a largescale sucker that is the new state record.

Wade Merschat, 12 years old, used a nightcrawler to land the 6.72-pound fish in Noxon Reservoir in Sanders County on June 19, 2024.

The fish measured 25.25 inches long.

Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks biologists verified the state record and issued Merschat his state record certificate on July 1.

FWP says the previous record was 6.16 pounds set in June 2008 at Woodland Park Pond in Kalispell, which 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 five pounds.

Wade's catch adds to the list of Montana record fish caught within the last several years, including a walleye, a chinook salmon, a brown trout, a longnose sucker, and a largemouth bass.

Anglers who think they 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, etc.) 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.

Click here to see a list of state record fish caught in Montana on the FWP website.