CPW Fish Records By Length

Colorado State Record Fish By Length Program: The Fish Must Be Released To Qualify. Visit The CPW Website For More Information
Colorado Fish Records By Length: (Copied From The CPW Website.)
As of January 2020, Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a new State Records by Length program. The new program recognizes the longest fish of a particular species that is caught and released by an angler, anywhere throughout Colorado. In this program, records are by length (inches), as opposed to our other program, the records by weight, which does not allow for catch-and-release entries. Unlike the Records by Weight program, these fish MUST BE RELEASED in order to qualify. The new stand-alone program requires anglers to follow specific steps for record submission and acceptance.
Apply for a Length Record:

The angler will fill out and return the application form (PDF), provide a picture of the fish on a measuring device and a witness signature on the application. This will be mailed to the Assistant Chief of Hatcheries in Denver.

Measuring Fish for Record Application:

To accurately measure a fish for a length record you MUST place the fish directly on the measuring device (ruler, tape measure, etc.). As pictured above, the measuring device shall be behind or under the fish and not following the curvature of the fish.

You MUST align the fish at a clearly marked area of the measuring device. In the image above, the 1-inch mark is used to clearly and accurately indicate the starting point for measurement.

You MUST place fish on its side with the jaw closed.

You MUST squeeze the tail fin together to obtain the maximum overall length.

You MUST measure a straight line from the tip of the snout to the extreme tip of the tail fin.


When applying for a state record by length, the fish must be greater than the length of the current record fish, or if there is no current record, the fish must be greater than the qualifying length, both of which are listed in the table on the CPW website.

NOTE: Northern pike and smallmouth bass caught in waters west of the Continental Divide will only be recognized for the State Record by Weight category. As a partner in the Upper Colorado River Endangered Fish Recovery Program and San Juan River Basin Recovery Implementation Program, CPW encourages anglers to catch and keep northern pike and smallmouth bass in most waters on the Western Slope of Colorado

For More Information On This Program Click Here: https://cpw.state.co.us/learn/Pages/RecordsbyLength.aspx