GLENROCK ANGLER SHATTERS FLATHEAD CATFISH RECORD
Dallas Stanton of Glenrock not only shattered the Wyoming flathead catfish
record April 18, he tangled with three big fish that day and one might have
even been bigger than the new state record.
Fishing in the North Platte River at the Dave Johnson Power Plant east of
Glenrock that morning, Stanton had what he estimated was an 18-pound catfish
at water’s edge before it flopped off. Then around noon, he hooked the new
22.46-pound state record flathead and landed the 34-incher after a 30-minute
battle. On the very next cast, he hooked another fish he was confident was
even bigger as it broke his 10-pound test.
If a bout of going three rounds with probably over 60 pounds of whiskered
power wasn’t improbable enough, it happened when Stanton was casting a
Little Cleo, a spoon-like lure, for brown and rainbow trout.
thought the fish were browns to start with because they both fought hard and
deep,” Stanton said.
He also thought the big catch was a channel catfish, as he took it to show
his son-in-law Cody Heimsoth. The fishing buddies agreed the fish was
noteworthy and Stanton alerted the Game and Fish Department he was bringing
it to the Casper office.
Fish Biologist Paul Mavrakis was expecting a channel catfish, too, but
confirmed the first flathead he’d seen in his nine years in Casper was also
a new state record.
“I always wanted to get a state record, but kind of hoped for something a
little prettier,” chuckled Stanton about the darkly-mottled behemoth.
With the new record flathead, Stanton also contributed to the G&F’s
knowledge about this relatively new Cowboy State visitor. In 1993, the
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission salvaged 133 8- to16-inch flatheads from
irrigation canals and donated them to the G&F for release in the North
Platte River below Glenrock. Some Nebraska flatheads were also stocked near
In the late 1990s, Mavrakis and Nebraska biologists electrofished the
Torrington area but didn’t find a single flathead. Other sampling near the
power plant also failed to discover flatheads.
He believes Stanton’s fish was one of the original imports. The only other
flathead biologists had documented was the former state record, a
3.74-pounder caught in the North Platte River near Glenrock on Sept. 2,
“Obviously at least a few have found the Dave Johnson Power Plant to their
liking,” Mavrakis said. “But it still isn’t known if there has been any
successful reproduction over the years.”
He said the flathead has a squaretail versus the deeply forked tail of a
channel catfish. Flatheads are typically darker and prefer live food.
In the hundreds of fishing outings to the power plant, it was also the first
flatheads Stanton had seen. Since the record-breaking day, Stanton learned
from fellow power plant anglers of other flatheads being caught, including a
The 22-year power plant employee has no intentions of hanging his rod and
reel up after hooking the new record. He believes he can break Wyoming’s
24.19-pound channel catfish record, too. He’s caught a lot of channels up to
15 pounds and reports from divers repairing power plant structures have him
convinced more records are lurking in the pools.
Due to Wyoming’s cool water and short growing seasons, breaking the North
American flathead record of 123 pounds is unlikely. But so was hooking three
probable state records on an artificial lure on one April day. That North
American record fish was caught in Kansas in 1998.
For now, Stanton’s record with a 23-inch girth is filling up his freezer.
He’d like to have it mounted but is having difficulty finding a taxidermist
experienced in mounting catfish.
Click Here To Return To The Previous Page