Catfish spawning size...

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by AwShucks, May 2, 2007.

  1. AwShucks

    AwShucks New Member

    Messages:
    4,532
    State:
    Guthrie, Oklaho
    About a week or 10 days ago, I posted on the site that an ODWC biologist stated something like catfish in the 10 to 20 pounds were more prolific at spawning than those over 40 pounds. This started a discussion with a brother from North Carolina who stated the larger catfish were the better spawners, and should be released. I have no problem whatsoever with releasing every catfish I catch, so that is no problem with me. However, I dislike being told something by someone supposedly in the know, supposedly this biologist. So, I emailed our State game department and posed the question to them. Here is the question I sent....

    From: Lawrence Wise [mailto:lawwise@cox.net]
    Sent: Sunday, April 29, 2007 6:41 PM
    To: Ask Warden
    Subject: Catfish spawn

    I attended the exposition presented by OCWC biologist at Guthrie Lake last year. I believe during the presentation, they stated catfish in the 10 to 20 pound range were the most prolific catfish, as far as spawning. They were better than the cats of 40 or 50 pounds... Do I have this right, or is it just because the bigger the catfish the more people think they are the most prolific. Thanks for the research...

    And this is the response I received this morning...


    That is correct.

    Capt. David Deckard
    Law Enforcement Division
    Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation


    Now, before anyone blows their corks, I have developed additional information in this regard... Coming home from town yesterday morning, I found the ODWC biologist at Guthrie Lake doing a shocking study. So, I stopped to chat and this question arose. The biologist (who must have been a politician) answered this way... It is a two part answer...as far as catfish in the wild, it may be the larger the fish the more prolific it is at breeding. Reason says a large fish would produce more eggs than a smaller fish...but at some point the quality and condition of its eggs will drop off so you can't say ALL large fish are the most prolific at spawning. The biologists works with the fish in the 10 to 20 pound range as they are easier to handle and extract the eggs and sperm. They keep channels and blues year round for spawning purposes, but flatheads don't do well in an enclosed environment, so the usually net their flat heads from Keystone lake, allow them to breed, and release them back into keystone.

    So, from all that, there is still not positive proof as to which group is the most prolific at spawning. Guess it don't matter as long as they continue to make little babies each year.