Catfish Conservation

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Polish Moose, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. Polish Moose

    Polish Moose New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Illinois
    I know this is a hot button topic, but what are your thoughts on regulations on catfish (flatheads, blues, or channels). Currently most catfishing is largely unregulated. Do you think it would help improve fishing? Only on trophy waters? Only for certain species? I'm just trying to get a pulse on how catfish anglers feel about this topic since is not talked about very often. I personally am in favor of regulations to help improve fisheries, particularly on trophy waters and waters in areas that receive heavy pressure, such as in urban settings. Thanks in advance for your input.
     
  2. bnorth

    bnorth New Member

    Messages:
    539
    State:
    Indiana
    I think like any regulation regimine it would have its pros and cons, and also a loyal (and often opinionated) following for both. From most of our standpoints you would find general agreement that we need regs for catfish. Size and quantity limits could potentially help any fishery produce more and bigger fish. I would be interested to see not only others opinions on the subject, but also suggestions for facilitating such a plan and some ideas on how the new regs could be enforced.
     

  3. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I really dont think its a need to regulate catfishing, it aint a real popular fish.
     
  4. gcarlin

    gcarlin New Member

    Messages:
    1,353
    State:
    Richmond ,Indiana
    WELL I'LL HAVE TO DISAGREE WITH THIS COMMENT, IF CATFISH AREN'T A POPULAR FISH THEN WHY ARE WE ALL MEMBERS OF THE BOC? I HAVE CATFISHED ALMOST ALL MY LIFE AND I DON'T WANT TO SEE THAT CHANGE. SO YES DO SOME REGULATING BUT ATLEAST USE SOME COMMON SENCE ABOUT IT.
     
  5. kat in the hat

    kat in the hat New Member

    Messages:
    4,875
    State:
    Missouri
    I like the regulations we have in Missouri. 5 blues, 5 flatheads, and 10 channelcats per day. Until a couple of years ago, channels and blues were counted together. Changing the regs has brought attention, recognition, and more respect for the beautiful blue catfish.
     
  6. pat muckelroy

    pat muckelroy New Member

    Messages:
    35
    State:
    texas
    There are as many opionions about this subject as there are people. Will we have regulations down the road? The answer going to be all about money. When the agencies that enforce the laws get enough public response to enforce stricter regulations, it will happen. In Texas a lot of state money is spent on stocking bass, trout, and redfish because that is where most of the interest in fishing is at. When the catfish start bringing in lots of people and tournaments like the bass, you will see catfishing go to rod and reel only with slot limits imposed. It is a numbers game; the more people, the less fish you can take. I will say that each of us must decide our on catch and release policy till that time comes. Good fishing, Pat Muckelroy
     
  7. grizzly

    grizzly New Member

    Messages:
    229
    State:
    Griffithville, Arkansas
    In Arkansas the limit is 10 combined[flathead, channel and blue], no limit on bullheads. I think the main problem is with commercial fishing. With a commercial liscense there is a 16 inch minimun with no limit on numbers. Around here a lot of nets are fished illegaly and that hurts lots. grizzly
     
  8. DANZIG

    DANZIG New Member

    Messages:
    6,672
    State:
    West Virginia
    Here in WV they have just noticed that we have Blue Cats and set the reg at 2 a day. A little light if you ask me, but like most other game, leave the breeders and do not keep more than you are going to eat and I 'spect things will be fine. It's just common sense really.
    Trouble comes with the greedy and commercial.

    With the extremely light enforcement 'round here, new laws/regs are mostly a waste of paper. Leading by example is probably more effective.
     
  9. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    Ky is largely unregulated on catfishing. I think we should have a slot limit(size slot) and regulate how many big fish can be kept a day. I have no problems with someone keeping all the eaters they want. I would like to see most of the bigguns' go.
     
  10. cubedweller

    cubedweller New Member

    Messages:
    454
    State:
    MO
    As the wise Mr. T (the BOC member, not the A-Team member) said...and I'm paraphrasing: Big fish carry big fish genes. But if you allow everyone to keep all the "eaters" then none will be able to grow big enough to attain the "big fish" status.

    So that's where I see problems with the "take all the eaters you want" approach. Won't be any big 'uns if none get to grow big. And like it or not, catfishing *IS* a sport, and will continue to become MORE popular. This means more aggressive pursuit and a significant increase in angling pressure on an already limited resource. So do we need further conservation efforts? HECK YES.

    If it means placing more stringent restrictions on my angling activities today so that my children can experience a quality fishery tomorrow, then I'm all for it. And if having to throw back a 18" blue catfish takes away from your angling enjoyment, then you've got issues pal. Do you also pick the greenest of apples???
     
  11. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    It has to happen.

    I was born in 1947. The population of the US was 144,000,000. Our family, which was pretty much average, had one car, and no boat. The workweek was 6 days, and most people went to church on Sunday, and then worked around the house. There weren't all that many retirees.

    The point I'm making is, there just wasn't much pressure being put on the resource (catfish) then.

    The current population is 302,000,000+, and growing, and we have much more time and means to fish.

    There are simply too many of us, with too much opportunity to fish, for everyone to continue taking fish in what amounts to an unrestrained manner. It ain't rocket science.
     
  12. vegasryder

    vegasryder New Member

    Messages:
    324
    State:
    illinois
    Like i was telling Marty...we need to start placing a slot limit/regulations on Flatheads.Flats are not like Channels where they are raised and stocked as fingerlings.Theres really no money going to preserve these fish on my state.I dont understand why there are slot and regs on other species of fish that are stocked and there are none on Flats...It just doesnt make sense.To top it all off,these fish are being caught with trot/jug lines.Looking at the statistics...the 12lber/29" i caught last week is roughly 10yrs old.To me,thats a long time to pack that light weight.How much longer to reach 30,40,50+ lbs???I cant stress enough how much we need to put some regs/slot limit especially on my state.just my $.02
     
  13. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    What I mean when I say keep all the eaters you want is I have no problems with people using catfish as a food source. Many lakes in Ky are part of channel cat stocking program so it helps alliviate the pressure. If a particular body of water needs limitation then I have no problem with restrictions but in my opinion(and all the fisheries biologist Ive spoke to here) we dont need restrictions on channel cat numbers. Catfishing is a great sport but it is also a food source. It has been much longer than its been a sport. I believe theres room for both.
     
  14. Polish Moose

    Polish Moose New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Illinois
    I must admit I am pleasantly surprised at the responses thus far. I knew I would hear from people who are for regs on catfish, but I thought I would hear more from people who do not want regs. I didn't start this thread to be arguementative, I simply wanted to see if those who fish for the same fish I do have the same opinions on regulations that I do.

    With the response thus far it is hard for me to understand how more places don't have regulations. I think we are fortunate to have this many conservation minded anglers, imagine what damage we could have already done to our respective fisheries.

    In order to get catfishing the respect it deserves we need to have more regulations to not only preserve what we now have, but to improve it. Who knows what kind of fish could potentially be caught. I applaud those states and providences who have already taken steps to improve the trophy potential of their catfisheries. Who knows if there is enough interest present maybe we can see a change in the not so distant future.
     
  15. Polish Moose

    Polish Moose New Member

    Messages:
    54
    State:
    Illinois
    KYTrapper, I just saw your post. I agree with you that there is nothing wrong with keeping fish occasionally for a meal. I choose not to keep my fish, however I have no problems with someone keeping an occasional fish. My concern is that people take more than they really need, particularly with flatheads and blues that are not involved in many stockings to my knowledge.
     
  16. KYTRAPPER

    KYTRAPPER New Member

    Messages:
    307
    State:
    Floyd county,KY
    I agree, thats why I think we need regs on how many big fish can be kept. Perhaps one fish of each species per day over 32"??????? Something along those lines. I personally keep all cats between 1'-10'. I love catfish and my wife loves catfish. Ive got a doz different ways I fix them:big_smile: I may keep a big flathead once in a while because I think they taste just as good as small ones. I let all big fish go for the most part.
     
  17. cubedweller

    cubedweller New Member

    Messages:
    454
    State:
    MO
    Hey Marty, take a look at a thread I started about a week ago -- hits some very similar parallels to this thread (though yours is more specific).

    http://www.catfish1.com/forums/showthread.php?t=50464

    It really is a double edged sword -- I love catfish, I love they way they taste, but I love catching them more. Even more, I love to catch big ones.

    To all, I value and respect your opinions. We obviously wouldn't be here if we didn't love catfishing.
     
  18. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    im all for better regs myself for a few reasons. the "big fish gene" thing is a fact, so thats a no brainer. in my part of indiana the water quality is a concern, that to me is another no brainer. i dont want to feed my family crap that will lead to bad health in the future for my loved ones. as for comercial fishermen, the water quality subject dont make any sence to me. i mean ,why let comercial fishermen net and sell big fish that are full of toxins? they tell us not to eat fish over 20 some inches but yet they can net and sell 40s n 50s to us to feed our families. typicle government thinking there eh!

    i usually keep a few fish a year under 5#s for the grease and smoker. all big fish are treated with respect and left to get bigger. i dont care if people want to keep fish to eat, but lets use a bit of common sence.

    as for regs im not a biologist ,so i can only speculate(and pick member "fishgeeks" brain on the subject). i would like to see some sorta size and bag limit myself. maybe a slot limit, as long as it was in conjuntion with the consumption advisery. i think the regs will come in time, and like bass cats will be caught and released by most.

    sorry for the long post but you asked for it bro. lol
     
  19. photocat

    photocat New Member

    Messages:
    803
    State:
    HOCO, Maryland
    I think that regulations should be in place. Problem is when the scientists do it, its largely a guessing game and adjustments are made based on the results of what anglers catch... If more large fish are being caught, they increase the allowable sizes and #'s to keep fish #'s "in check"... if not many big fish are being caught then they restrict what we can keep further till the numbers get better and then instead of allowing the big fish to thrive and get bigger they go back to letting fisherman take more again... And i know there is no set way to judge what regulations will work state wide vs. lake to lake.





    QUOTE=KYTRAPPER;669203]Ky is largely unregulated on catfishing. I think we should have a slot limit(size slot) and regulate how many big fish can be kept a day. I have no problems with someone keeping all the eaters they want. I would like to see most of the bigguns' go.[/QUOTE]

    I'd have to agree that the regs should protect the larger catfish, whether its bullheads, channels, flatheads, whites, or blues. my thought is do what FL does w/ redfish and several other species, and have slot limits not allowing any over a certain size to be taken or allowing 1 in aggregate (per year as i understand it) over a certain size so that the bigger breeders (those that will breed bigger fish because their genetics are stronger and better and more adapted to having larger offspring) are left pretty much alone to produce more and bigger fish in the waters.



    KY- where are you catching 10 ft catfish? I wanna go there lol
     
  20. massa_jorge

    massa_jorge New Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    State:
    TEXAS
    in texas the catfishing is pretty good, i think. you can have 5 flatties, and 25 channels and blues combined. when we go out, we do pretty good most of the time, and i talk with the freshwater fisheries dept. fairly often, and they are always stocking cats.
    i hear of other states that cats don't have gamefish status or bag limits, and it's kind of scary thinking what could happen under those circumstances...