CHEYENNE - When Lovell High School sophomore Curtis Purcell saw the sunfish on the end of his line, he knew it was a big sunfish, but didn’t know he had a potential state record until going home, and looking up the Wyoming record on the internet.
He thought his fish was bigger than the current .82 pound record so his next step was taking the fish to a local grocery store where it was weighed in on their certified scale at .93 pounds. All that remained for the fish to be the new record was to have it checked by a fisheries biologist. He left the fish at the Game and Fish Cody Regional Office and it was verified as to species by fisheries management coordinator Steve Yekel.
Curtis said his initial thought was to release the fish, but saw it had swallowed his worm too deeply, so he decided to keep it.
Curtis says he loves to fish and was at Lovell Lakes on July 10 when the large fish took his bait. In addition to the .93pound weight, the fish was 9.6 inches long and had a girth of 8.8 inches. The old record has stood since 2006, and coincidentally, the previous record was also caught from Lovell Lakes. The world record green sunfish weighed two pounds two ounces and was caught out of a Missouri lake in 1971.
For a fish to be listed as a state record, it must be weighed on a certified scale and identified by a fisheries biologist.A completed listing of Wyoming record fish as well as fish record forms are on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov along with complete rules for submitting a state record fish.
(Contact: Al Langston, 307-777-4540)