As many of you know the Carolinas Catfish Club is having its first tournament of 2008 on Lake Hickory October 4th. More details can be found in the Carolinas Catfish Club section of this website. I just got word from biologists with the NCWRC asking if they could age the channel catfish we catch during the Lake Hickory tournament on October the 4th. This is part of a catfish study they are initiating on Lake Hickory. This is the same type of study NCCATS participated in on Lake Norman and Badin Lake with blue catfish. If you do not already know, aging a fish is not as simple as asking them for the date of birth, and it does require killing the fish. Biologists use the otolith, which is bone like material inside the head of fish. In addition, the fish are measured and weighed and the data is compiled to establish growth rates for the lake. While we are a club that is focused on conservation and protection of catfish populations we realize that the data gained is worth the sacrifice of the fish for the study. We hope that you will come out to participate in this tournament, and while only two fish can be weighed in for the tournament, we ask that you keep all the channel catfish for the biologists to use in their study.