Kalispell Man Ties State Record by Catching 3.7-Ounce Fish

By Beacon Staff

Here’s a fish tale that could use a little exaggeration.

A Kalispell man ice fishing on Bitterroot Lake in northwestern Montana on Tuesday caught a fish so big that it tied a state record. The pygmy whitefish weighed in at a whopping 3.7 ounces and measured 8 1/4 inches.

“My arm is still hurting,” joked Eric Tullett, who reeled in the fish with a glow hook and maggot. Tullett’s catch tied the state record held by two other anglers, who caught 3.7-ounce pygmies in February 2005.

The bottom dwellers feed on tiny zooplankton, bottom insects and mysis shrimp. Jim Vashro, a fisheries manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, says the nonnative shrimp may be responsible for an increase in growth rates among pygmy whitefish.

So Tullett can brag for now, but it has been said that records are made to be broken.