Do the giants even spawn at that age

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by jerseycat9, Mar 19, 2007.

  1. jerseycat9

    jerseycat9 New Member

    Messages:
    2,544
    State:
    Oakwood Georgia
    I have seen a lot of people get upset with giant fish being kept and donated to aquariums. But as in old age in people can the fish even still go through the rigors of spawning at this age? Im not starting this thread in spite just curious. I dont see that taking a giant would hurt the fisheries that much they are probably late in life as it is and the fish has probably given back much by way of genes to the body of water.
     
  2. gcarlin

    gcarlin New Member

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    1,353
    State:
    Richmond ,Indiana
    VERY GOOD POST. FLATHEADS ARE LIKE ANYTHING IN LIFE,AS LONG AS THINGS GO WELL THEN WHY NOT, SOME OLDER FOLKS STILL HAVE THE NEED ,WHY NOT FISH.
     

  3. s_man

    s_man New Member

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    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Fish continue to grow every year they are alive. They're not like people or dogs or horses... which stop after a certain age. If a fish is alive it will spawn. The amount of eggs a female can produce increases the larger she gets. Say a 10 pounder can lay 3,000 eggs and a 50 pounder can lay 30,000 eggs. Only 1 to 3 % of the fish that hatch from those eggs will survive past the first three years. Which would you rather have, 3 percent of 3,000 dollars or 3 percent of 30,000 dollars? Another thing about larger fish is their genetic make-up. You can have two 40 pound fish yet one is 10 years old and the other is 20. Some fish grow larger in a shorter period of time. If we let the 10 year old fish go, how much bigger could it become in ten more years? If you want to eat fish thats fine, thats what they are here for. But after a certain size they should be treated like the life givers that they are. They survived tons of odds to make it to that size and they can reproduce in larger numbers than smaller fish.
     
  4. KGK20

    KGK20 New Member

    Messages:
    101
    State:
    MISSOURI
    I dont think there is any thing wrong with keeping a big fish because little ones will spawn just as much. I think what most peole are concerned about is how long it takes for a fish to get that big.
     
  5. jerseycat9

    jerseycat9 New Member

    Messages:
    2,544
    State:
    Oakwood Georgia
    Im not sure of the legitimacy of my next statement but a good reliable source that has fisheries biology in his back round. Told me that the large fish may produce more eggs but the health and quality of the older eggs are far less than the quality of smaller fish with about the same amount of offspring making it through the first year of life. Like I said not sure but he dont BS so I believe him.
     
  6. ka_c4_boom

    ka_c4_boom New Member

    Messages:
    2,252
    State:
    Bedford,Ky
    but keith the two fish in your avatar may have been world records some day are you even curious as to how big these cats can get , its getting so if i want to catch the world record im going to have to raise it in a private pond and hope to out live the fish , by the time its a world record im liable to be back in diapers
     
  7. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

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    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    From the studies I have made, I think your information is off a bit. The following is information I received when emailing several states conservation departments. According to their biologists, all catfish that are of breeding age, produce basically the same number of offspring. The difference is in the survivability. Large catfish will get the best nest areas. Large catfish also will scare away most predators. Thus, the young of large catfish have a much better chance of surviving that critical first few months. In there studies, sometimes as much as 30% survive the first 2 months, where as with smaller catfish, 5% is considered normal. Those that survive the first year, have a good chance of living to their normal age limit if not kept by fishermen. Genetics have a major impact on survival also. As was stated in a previous post, catfish grow in size depending on several factors, but with all things equal, good genetics will out survive the others and will allow them to grow in a shorter time.
    Simply put, a catfish born from an older, larger parent, will have a much better odds of surviving not only the first critical few months or the first year, but will have odds in it's favor of growing faster and living longer due to the genetics passed along.
    The above information is what I gleaned from over 20 emails from fishery biologists. Whether one chooses to believe it is up to the individual. Everyone has the right to release or keep any legally caught fish and should not be put down for whichever they choose.
     
  8. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Tom, don't take this as a slight. But you ,with your contacts with the DNR say a 10lb fish lays the same amount of eggs as a 50lb fish? Am I gettin that right? I just want to be sure. Everything else you said, is as I understand it to be true. But a fifty pounder can hold more eggs than a 10 lber right?
     
  9. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    I think what Tom means is the bigger fishes spawn has a higher survivability so even if the younger smaller fish are more vigorous and healthy the big fish "produces" as many successful fingerlings,which in turn are more genetically disposed to become larger.In Europe the game managers never kill the trophy animals in their herds (without the hunter paying an exorbitant price) but cull the weak,smaller animals.One point that is forgotten is any body of water can support X amount of fish based on forage and habitat.Everytime you take a trophy out that space is filled with several smaller fish,thus increasing the competition for the available forage.With increased competition comes stunting of the over all population.No clearer example of this than Santee after all the trophy stripers were taken out and nailed to picture boards.The lake filled with smaller fish and today a 20lb striper is cause for celebration,sadly in a lake that held the seminal freahwater striper population and the world record for a period of time.Same thing is happening there with the catfish,which is why the biologists are encouraging fishermen to keep all the sub 20 cats you want.Good thread.:smile2: Great post Tom:big_smile:
     
  10. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay New Member

    Messages:
    136
    State:
    Wisconsin
    Guys, Its cool hearing all the diifferent views on catfish , mostly flatheads , on thier habits and life cycles . One of the variables is we don't really know for sure , up here on the Fox, in Wi., out of 1500 flathead catfish ,trapped ,netted ,shocked, caught, none were over 50lb's (in a3 year period) Does that mean they dont get to be over 50 lb's? or there aren't many left . Recaptured tagged fish showed a average growth rate of 1.02 in. per year. A 50lb fish is 20-25 years old. They are harder to age acurately they older they get , in the last years of their life span their eggs may not be any, or as good as a youger fish . Flatheads can absorb their eggs back into their body if the conditions are not right for spawning .
    I and some fellow catfisherman recently spoke to one of our fisheries bioligists and some of associates,one of the pieces of advice I wanted was which size to keep, my logic says the one closest to 50lb's. He was more concerned with the amount kept, taken out of the system, than the size.
    I have just recently got back into fishing , and am know retired. I and my neighbors ,release anything under 20lb's and keep enough others to eat for our families . Im sure not ashamed of keeping flathead catfish over 20lb's. Dont mean to offend anyone just my opinion .
     
  11. loki1982

    loki1982 New Member

    Messages:
    420
    State:
    Texas
    Im a bit fuzzy on the exact details but I think I remember hearing that "Splash" the 121.5 blue cat that was put in Athens aquarium did spawn once before she died. Not postive though.