GREAT FALLS – Samuel Grisak, a 15-year-old angler from Great Falls, Montana, caught a new state record golden shiner on July 3 from Giant Springs Pond in Giant Springs State Park. Grisak’s fish weighed .03 pounds and measured 4.41 inches in length with a girth of 2.6 inches and was caught on a dry fly. This is the first golden shiner submitted to FWP’s fish record book.
Golden shiners are non-native members of the minnow family, and found in scattered locations across central, eastern, and southeastern Montana.
Grisak’s catch adds to the growing list of new Montana record fish caught in the last year and a half including a Utah chub, a walleye, a chinook salmon, a smallmouth bass, a yellow bullhead, a brown trout, a longnose sucker, and a largemouth bass.
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 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.