State record fish: Catch and release


18 additional fish species records now offer records

Applications now are being accepted so fish listed below can join flathead catfish, lake sturgeon, muskellunge and northern pike on the catch and release records list.

  • Bigmouth buffalo
  • Blue sucker
  • Bowfin
  • Brook trout
  • Brown trout
  • Channel catfish
  • Freshwater drum
  • Lake trout
  • Largemouth bass
  • Longnose gar
  • Rainbow trout
  • Sauger
  • Shortnose gar
  • Shovelnose sturgeon
  • Smallmouth bass
  • Smallmouth buffalo
  • Tiger muskellunge
  • Walleye

Fish listed below were documented using catch and release application materials submitted by the anglers who caught them. See the rules section to submit an application for a catch and release record. New records are listed in bold.

Last update: Thursday, June 13, 2024 @ 11:24 am CDT


Length 1

Girth 1

CaughtPlace caughtCountyAnglerPhoto
Flathead catfish52½28/2/2017St. Croix RiverWashingtonMark Mosby, St. AnthonyView

Flathead catfish caught Aug. 2, 2017, on the St. Croix River

Muskellunge58¼N/P 26/11/2022Mille Lacs LakeMille LacsEric Bakke, PrincetonView

Muskellunge caught June 11, 2022, on Mille Lacs Lake

Lake sturgeon7829½2/9/2019St. Croix RiverWashingtonDarren Troseth, JordanView

Lake sturgeon caught Feb. 9, 2019, on the St. Croix River

Northern pike - tie




Mille Lacs Lake


Brad Lila, Hudson, Wis.


Northern pike caught Jan. 22, 2023, on the Mille Lacs Lake

Northern pike - tie46¼N/P 26/19/2021Basswood LakeLakeBrecken Kobylecky, Geneva, Ill.View

Northern pike caught June 19, 2019, on Basswood Lake

Shovelnose sturgeon35N/P 23/12/2024Minnesota RiverScottElliot Feldman, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.View

Shovelnose sturgeon caught March 12, 2024, on the Minnesota River

Brown trout30N/P 24/15/2024Lake SuperiorSt. LouisDan Zeleznikar, DuluthView

Brown trout caught April 15, 2024, in Lake Superior

Lake trout42.5N/P 24/21/2024Lake SuperiorSt. LouisKelsey Vanderheyden, StanchfieldView

Lake trout caught April 21, 2024, on Lake Superior

1 Listed in inches • 2 N/P: Not provided


Download, review, save and print the complete rules and application package before you go fishing.

If you catch a fish that you think could be a record, follow these steps:

  • To ensure your catch qualifies:
    1. For a catch and release record that exists, find and review the listing in the table above to ensure your fish is at least ¼-inch longer than the existing record.
    2. For a new record, .


      Minimum length

      Bigmouth buffalo

      32 inches

      Blue sucker

      28 inches


      31 inches

      Brook trout

      18 inches

      Brown trout

      24 inches

      Channel catfish

      38 inches

      Freshwater drum

      31 inches

      Lake trout

      4o inches.

      Largemouth bass

      22 inches

      Longnose gar

      46 inches

      Rainbow trout

      23 inches


      22 inches

      Shortnose gar

      3o inches

      Shovelnose sturgeon

      32 inches

      Snallmouth bass

      22 inches

      Smallmouth buffalo

      31 inches

      Tiger musskellunge

      44 inches


      32 inches

  • Download the catch and release record fish application.
  • An observer must witness your catch and release and is required to sign and date your application in the appropriate area.
  • Complete the application, follow the application's detailed instructions on taking photographs and send all application materials to the address listed on the application.

  • Fish may not be caught using any methods other than angling and may not be snagged.
  • Fish caught from any fish hatchery (private, club or government) are not eligible to be considered for a state record.
  • Fish caught on a body of water without a public access are not eligible to be considered for a state record.
  • Fish must be caught during the legal open season and hours in Minnesota waters, including those boundary waters where a Minnesota fishing license is valid, by a person licensed or otherwise legally entitled to angle in Minnesota.
  • The girth of the fish, measured around the thickest portion of the body, is desired but optional.
  • Applications must be submited within 90 days of the date on which the fish was caught.

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