Conserving catfish resources

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Shawn, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. Shawn

    Shawn New Member

    In another thread, we got into a sidebar discussion about harvest limits which some are in favor of, and some obviously are not. I thought I would throw out some catFood for Thought...

    It's no secret I'm in favor of some limits mostly to protect larger fish. On certain waters, I could envision some type of creel limits (maybe a daily limit per angler with a possession limit two times the daily limit). But, when you live in an urban area which has a very high level of fishing pressure on a relatively small river, I think it's a different situation that you see in more rural areas where there is relatively low fishing pressure.

    ...things can't always stay the same forever. Change is always coming around the bend whether we're ready for it or not. There seems to be a lot more people interested in catfishing than there used to be. Just look at how much more "catfish specific" gear is out there. Hooks. Lines. Rods. Reels. You can use Aqua-View camera to locate wintering flatheads, and pinpoint catfish location using advanced sonar imaging. I started fishing for catfish almost 30 years ago, when there was no such thing as a catfish rod, and my depthfinder was the oar of the boat and the length of my arm. I would be very surprised if we don't continue to see more states implement some type of limits upon catfish harvest in future years.

    Here's what some of our neighboring states have in place

    Iowa Rivers: daily bag limit 15, possession limit 30; Inland Lakes: daily bag limit 8, possession limit 30; Border lakes with Minnesota bag limit 8; No limit on Mississippi River

    Indiana Streams: No limit; Lakes 10 fish limit any channel, blue, flathead catfish

    Missouri Statewide: blue and flathead bag limit 5, possession 10; Channel cat bag 10, possession 20. Mississippi river daily+bag limit is 20 channel/blue cat and 10 flatheads

    Wisconsin Statewide: channel/flathead 10 in total; Mississippi (WI/MN border 25 in total; St Louis/St Croix 10 in total; Mississippi (WI/IA) no limit

    Minnesota Statewide 5 fish, not one over 24" and no more than two flathead

  2. Flatheadhunter33

    Flatheadhunter33 New Member

    Yuma, Arizona
    Thats good to see that catfish conservation is being recognized as important by agencies that can actually make it happen.

  3. Polish Moose

    Polish Moose New Member

    It is nice to see, however I do wish the regulations were a little tougher. Those are still pretty lax. It looks like Minnesota is taking a good proactive approach, Kudos to them.
  4. neocats

    neocats New Member

    You can add this to the list from Ohio.

    Channel Catfish (under 28") Daily Limit is 6 in lakes under 700 acres. On lakes over 700 acres, there is no daily limit.
    Channel Catfish (28" and over) Daily Limit is one
    Flathead Catfish (under 35") no daily limit
    Flathead Catfish (35" and over) daily limit is one

    There is no minimum size for any catfish.
  5. river scum

    river scum New Member

    hooterville indiana
    i feel the same as you shawn. i have been asking why from INDNR for years to no avail. they just dance around the question or ignore it all toigether. i have seen the damage done by those that take without regards to the conciquences. with the gaining popularity of pay ponds i feel the problem will only get worse,in my state.

    im not pointing fingers at anyones way of fishing, all styles have their take everything they can get types! im just stating the views i have from reading articles and studys. facts dont lie, conservation works!

    anyone else care to add the reg from your state for comarison?
  6. BriankatCatfish1

    BriankatCatfish1 New Member

    In MN, the DNR realize there's a growing potential for Trophy Flathead fishing.
    Our biggest problem is the commercial netters and since it's border waters we have two dnr's that need to work together.

    IMO and I'll say seems that neither one wants to work together...I WILL point fingers...and both the MN and WI DNR. It almost seems like and ego trip. I"m not just talking about cats here...number of fishing lines, ice fishing shelter tags and opening of Walleye season...just to name a few.

    Now that I've said the above... 99% of the time they do an awesome job...I would go so far as to say EXCELLENT job.

    PS Nice seeing you around Shawn!:wink:
  7. Wolfdog

    Wolfdog New Member

    Don't want to start anything , But it seems that no matter what the rules are there is someone willing to go around them just so they can say look What I Got. I would like to know if you feel the same and what you think we can do about this? Besides the Obvious.

    JERMSQUIRM New Member

    illinois. NO state wide limits on any catfish species.

    i really think we need to restrict some taking of smaller ones. seems 99% of people here say throw all the ones over ten pounds back. and god forbid killing a 50lber.

    i think if we look at the big picture. its kind of a mirror. although its more fun to catch the 50lber. they are getting past spring chicken age. the good breeders are the midsize fish in thier prime spawing age.

    some said that the world record blue 124lbs from alton il would be better in the water spreading her/his genes than dead. dont you think a 124lb fish was past his /her spawing age and just living the days out like a retired man or woman?

    and if every one keeps the small ones what will happen? the big die and all the little ones were ate. so none to get big.

    i believe there needs to be # restrictions. not size restrictions. jmo. and i have no trouble going to the 5000 acre lake i fish and catching cats darn near 99% of trips with the best 2 seasons ago being 36. although i threw 12 back that looked swollen with eggs. channels. they were. and have been doing this since i was in my late teens. they seem to be keeping up.

    dont get me wrong. after i get 60-80lbs in the freezor for my fish fry and my winter use i cr my fish. i still like to go when i dont keep them. but i think throwing a fish back in the later part of its days just because its big and killing the 9lb'r you are really doing more damage.:eek:oooh: maybe im stupid but i just take what i need. until its illegal im good with it. i know my limits.
  9. JAinSC

    JAinSC Active Member

    South Carolina
    We are already doing it here. Unfortunately, most states will not enact conservation measures unless they feel they have the support of the people. Many times the new laws must be passed by the state legislature. And, most politicians are spineless and afraid of angering their constituents. Even if the biologists say something needs to be done, the politicians won't act without public presure, so keep pushing.

    As far as the average fisherman doing the right thing, that's up to us. Peer presure will do a lot. The bass fishermen have a nationwide conservaton ethic. If you started bragging about a coolerfull of largemouth fillets, your buddies would shut you up quick! There's nothing wrong with eating catfish, they reproduce well and can stand a good deal of fishing presure, but it takes many years and good genes to grow trophies. Most of us on this board believe in releasing the big cats, and we are passing on that conservation ethic.
  10. poisonpits

    poisonpits Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    arkansas catfish limits are 10 fish daly with a 20 fish poseishon.only 5 of these can be can have 20 on arkansas and miss.rivers but 10 have to be channels under 16 inches.
  11. catter62

    catter62 New Member

    Texas has a daily limit of 5 flathead, one of the most conservative limits of the ones posted other than Minnesota. Maybe thats why we have so many and they get so BIG here! :wink: They also seem to agree with cats4uandme that the small ones need to be protected because the minimum length is 18 inches.
  12. flathunter

    flathunter New Member

    These laws that help potect the flathead a little are good, but the problem I see is enforcing them..Ohio has one game warden per county, and he cant be everywhere.
  13. alpal16

    alpal16 New Member

    Philly, PA
    In PA, all catfish are put in a broad category of misc. gamefish, such as Sunfish, Yellow Perch, White Perch, Crappies, Rock Bass, Suckers, Carp, and White Bass. There is a daily limit of 50 (combined species).
  14. Wolfdog

    Wolfdog New Member

    Well Said!!! We all need to pass the word.