Catch and Release, Facts

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by nathan8372, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. nathan8372

    nathan8372 New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    South Texas
    Hey guys,

    Just writing to give you guys some info on catching and releasing the catfish you catch.

    It's scientifically proven that bigger catfish spawn and are more likely to grow like a weed after they reach a certain size:

    • Catfish are the fastest growing soprtfish in North America
    • Most catfish species gain 2-5 pounds per year for their first three years, doubling their weight per year after that (flatties)
    • Flathead's are the 2nd largest sportfish in Texas after the Blue
    • Catfish are the 2nd most preferred group of fish among licensed Texas anglers
    • A catfish can live 12 to 14 years, one of the oldest ever recorded was aged at 24 years old
    • Catfish reach sexual maturity between their 3rd and 6th year
    • Catfish grow an average of 1.5 inches per year
    • Catfish prefer warm waters to promote maximum growth
    • 85 degree water is the best temperature for optimum growth, with each 18 degree change in temp, their metabolism either doubles or halves.
    It takes a little understanding to fully grasp the whole 'catch and release' thing but it can be a very rewarding habit.

    I'm not saying to catch and release all your cat's, you be the judge.

    Just imagine, you catch 5 eighteen inch, three # flatheads and let them go. Next year they may be six pounds and 20-25 inches long!

    It works guys, I have fished in the same area for years and I have caught the SAME flatheads on my trotline almost overnight, same hook sore on their mouths!

    Give conservation and 'catch and release' a shot, it's not only good for the fish, it will reward you as well.
     
  2. JPritch

    JPritch New Member

    Messages:
    1,852
    State:
    Lynchburg, VA
    Just wanted to verify that you meant 12-14 year average life span, oldest recorded being 24 years?

    Just wondering because I've read on here where people have said that the really big ones are probably decades old etc....
     

  3. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Messages:
    3,764
    State:
    Yuma, Arizona
    Excellent post Nathan! Thanks for the info!
     
  4. trnsmsn

    trnsmsn New Member

    Messages:
    1,214
    State:
    Missouri Originally Now I
    Great post !!!, you can never gain enough knowledge:wink:
     
  5. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    What's the source of your information, and what catfish species does it apply to? I doubt you can generalize across all 3 major species.

    For instance, everything I've ever read indicates that blue catfish grow very slowly - taking better than 12 years to reach 10 lbs. Here's a blue cat study from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife: http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/research/bluecatfishmanagementresearch.pdf

    BTW - I'm a firm believer in catch & release, especially the larger fish, so I'm not arguing with the point of your post. My personal policy is that no blue cats over 22 inches or under 18 inches get harvested unless they're mortally wounded (swallowed hook, etc.). The fact that blues grow so slowly is a significant motivator in practicing catch & release for me.
     
  6. neocats

    neocats New Member

    Messages:
    2,130
    State:
    Steubenvil
    I am curious. Where did your facts come from? I too practice catch and release and in some cases require it during NEOCATS tournaments. Part of your facts seem to say that a 14 years old catfish would be approximately 21 inches long and weigh about 12,000 pounds. I must be misunderstanding something here.
     
  7. nathan8372

    nathan8372 New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    South Texas
    My info comes from the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.

    Mr.T, no where on your chart does it show a 10lber at 12 years.

    And as for the weight formula, Flatties can in fact double their weight after they reach a certain size.

    N
     
  8. superman

    superman New Member

    Messages:
    343
    State:
    DeSoto MO
    great info nathan thanks for sharing
     
  9. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    The chart shows length, not weight. See the second paragraph of the document:

    "Even on the “fast growing” lakes it takes 12-14 years for blue catfish to get to 10 pounds."
     
  10. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    For some more good reading, check out this study:
    http://web.fisheries.org/main/images/stories/afs/sympsample.pdf
    The information is specific to Blue Catfish, which grow quite differently from Flatheads, which I think were the focus of most of Nathan's original data.

    But if you look at the length vs weight chart on page 8 of the PDF document, you can see that a 5kg blue catfish (about 11 lbs) is on the order of 800mm long, and you can then look at the length vs age charts from various bodies of water in the study and see that they grow at vastly differing rates - in Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, they'll be about 13 years old when they reach 11 lbs; in the Mississippi River Delta (Louisiana), they reach 11 lbs at about 6 years.

    Nathan - if you have a link to the relevant data on the Texas Fish & Wildlife web site, please post it - you've got me curious now and I couldn't find anything that looked promising in a quick Google search.
     
  11. gcarlin

    gcarlin New Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    State:
    Richmond ,Indiana
    Very Nice Fact Sheet Brother
     
  12. Fishking

    Fishking Member

    Messages:
    306
    State:
    KC, MO
    Name:
    Andrew
    Most catfish species gain 2-5 pounds per year for their first three years, doubling their weight per year after that (flatties)

    Wow, that means that 50 lber I caught this summer will be 100 lbs Next summer. Kick butt!! :/

    A catfish can live 12 to 14 years, one of the oldest ever recorded was aged at 24 years old
    Catfish grow an average of 1.5 inches per year

    That math just doesn't add up. :/


    By all means CPR, and please post a link with all this scientific info. Thanks
     
  13. Pastor E

    Pastor E New Member

    Messages:
    3,194
    State:
    Beebe AR
    Great post nathan:cool2:
     
  14. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    I would point out ,as T has already done that a limited study restricted to specific waters is hard to draw any inferences from.Growth rates vary widely even among waters in the same state,based on a lot of factors.Actual population of fish has a lot to do with it I suspect.A lake chock full of small fish all competing for the available food supply would have a slower growth rate than a lake with a much smaller population of bigger fish given the same size food supply.Recently the first ever Catfish Symposium was held in Iowa I believe.Many good and useful studies were published by a wide range of biologists.Can anybody find a link to that symposium because all the studies were published and available for sale in a single edition.That would be worth owning and I think the price was about 30$.:smile2:
     
  15. nathan8372

    nathan8372 New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    South Texas
    Exactly, this growth rates are not directly related but are true. There are many factors the influence their growth. The 'doubling-weight' fact limits to only certain sized cats, babys etc., Its all in the books, I just posted them to yall can read them, NOT create a debate.
     
  16. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

    Messages:
    2,553
    State:
    MO
    Jim, I found this book on the same website as the PDF I posted above:

    http://store.afsbooks.org/x54024xm.html

    It's from 2000 so is a few years old; if there's a new book out, it's not available yet as far as I can tell.

    Nathan -- I don't necessarily want to argue either (I'm a strong supporter of CPR), but when someone posts "facts" about catfish that lack enough qualifying information to determine what species they apply to and the constraints under which those "facts" are valid, and when those "facts" are contrary to other published documents, I think it's worthy of a discussion.

    I'd still like to see a link to either the web site that was the source of your information or a reference to the book that contains it.
     
  17. coolarrow2

    coolarrow2 New Member

    Messages:
    249
    State:
    Texas
    I have always wondered how old a 60 or 70lb cat is. I'm sure it takes longer for one to get that big up north than down south but I would like to know how long here in Texas.
     
  18. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Jeez Marty you are about the most helpful person I have met on this site.I want to publicly thank you for all your help to everyone that has ever asked a question.Somehow you always come up with a good website,inciteful answer or helpful suggestion.I have given you all the rep I can so I just want to say right out here in public in front of all the BOC members THANKS, we appreciate it.:smile2: :smile2: :smile2: You represent the exact vision of what I always held the BOC to be.A group of like minded fishermen dedicated to the pursuit of the sport,as well as helping others discover it and get better at it and preserve it for future generations.You exemplify that ideal.:big_smile: :smile2: :big_smile: I hope you are blushing. :embarassed: I am going to get the symposium book,54$ is cheap enough for the info it contains.Hopefully they have it on DVD or CD so I can share it.:smile2:pS dont want anyone to think Marty is the only helpful person here,there are many,Whistler,TD, Tommy,Mark J and many more come to mind and I thank all of you also.
     
  19. CatHound

    CatHound New Member

    Messages:
    164
    State:
    Missouri
    Here's a few references that were used at the symposium as well.

    These are available online.

    A Review of the Biology and Management of Blue Catfish

    Study of Missouri catfish

    Age and Growth factors of catfish

    Freshwater catfish of the USA - Auburn University Alabama.
     
  20. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Good discussion here. I believe that the facts are based on "average" and "in general". Too many factors to take into consideration to get accurate information like geographic area, water conditions, available food, feeding habits, lakes vs rivers and the list goes on.