Montana boy catches bass estimated at 19 years old

The Associated Press

Updated: 08/11/2011 07:46:57 AM CDT


Garrett Frost from Kalispell, Mt. holds a largemouth bass he caught in Rose Creek Slough on July 16. The fish was later released back into the creek. (Associated Press)

KALISPELL, Mont. - A 10-year-old Montana boy fishing with a rubber worm caught a largemouth bass that state wildlife officials say could be nearly twice as old as he is.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Mark Deleray says the largemouth bass caught and released in a Flathead River slough by Garrett Frost could be as much as 19 years old. Deleray says that may be the oldest largemouth bass on record for Montana.

The Kalispell boy caught the fish July 16 in Rose Creek Slough.

Deleray says the fish was 20 to 22 inches long and weighed about 3.5 pounds. Garrett removed a tag that had been placed on the fish in 1997 before releasing it.

Biologists estimate the fish was 5 years old when it was tagged, based on the fact that it was just over 14 inches long and weighed 1.5 pounds.

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a species of Black bass in the sunfish family native to North America. It is also known as widemouth bass, bigmouth, black bass, bucketmouth, Potter's fish, Florida bass, Florida largemouth, green bass, green trout, linesides, Oswego bass, southern largemouth and (paradoxically) northern largemouth. The largemouth bass is the state fish of Alabama (official freshwater fish), Georgia, Mississippi, Florida (state freshwater fish), and Tennessee (official sport fish).

Kalispell is a city in and the county seat of Flathead County, Montana, United States. The 2010 census put Kalispell's population at 19,927 up 5,704 over 2000. At 40.1% this is the largest percentage of growth of any Montana city. Kalispell is the largest city and commercial center of Northwest Montana. The name Kalispell is a Salish word meaning "flat land above the lake". Kalispell is the principal city of the Kalispell Micropolitan Statistical Area the largest Micropolitan Statistical Area in Montana and the third largest of all of the Montana census statistical areas. Kalispell is also the gateway to Glacier National Park.