CHEYENNE - Perseverance and a love for fishing rewarded 14-year-old Colton Bustillos of Torrington with a listing in the Wyoming state fish record book as the holder of Wyoming’s new record stonecat.
Bustillos’ catch was 10.1 inches long, weighed .35 lb. and was caught Mar. 17 from the North Platte River near Torrington.
Not realizing what he had, a nearby fisherman suggested that he might want to get his fish checked out as it may be a record. Colton contacted Torrington game warden Jon Stephens who verified the fish was a stone cat and that it was the first entry in Wyoming for that species, making it the new state record.
Colton, who attends Torrington Middle School has been fishing in the river most of the winter. He caught his stonecat using a crappie rig with worms. His father, Bill, said Colton likes all kinds of fishing, hunting, and outdoor activities and gets out whenever he can.
The stonecat is a small catfish that grows up to 12 inches in length. In Wyoming, it is found in the North Platte, Belle Fourche, Powder, Tongue, and Big Horn River drainages.
Anglers who think they might have caught a state record fish need to get the fish weighed on a certified scale and have it verified by the Game and Fish Department. A listing of state record fish is on the Game and Fish website wgfd.wyo.gov.
(Contact: Al Langston (307) 777-4540)