Flathead catfish age and growth?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Catmaster, Feb 22, 2006.

  1. Catmaster

    Catmaster New Member

    Messages:
    391
    State:
    SE Kansas
    I just thought this was a pretty cool article that I read. Flats are one of the fastest growing fish in the country xcept grass carp. Flats put on 2-5 pounds a year between 3 and 8 years old. Monster flats grow upward of 10 pounds a year. In some southern rivers and resivores flats have grown as much as 30 pounds in 10 years. Flats have an average life span of 20 years. Flats reach sexual maturity at the age of 4-6 years old.
    I thought this was pretty interesting.
     
  2. JimF

    JimF New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    IL
    I would have to beleave that. I heard that the new world record blue cat was only 25 years old. One more thought, If they only live 20 to 25 yrs, then die where do they go. I have never heard of a 125lb blue cat found dead. Has any of you folks heard of or seen one?

    When I was about 12 or 13 I was walking around the lake when I found a dead fish. I guessed it to be about 6 or 7 lbs, it looked like a crappie. I told the older men at the lake they told me it had to be a hybrid striper. I have seen them since, I don't think it was a striper. Did I find the state record crappie that had died of old age. Wish I could go back and do it all again. I would find out for sure!
     

  3. s_man

    s_man New Member

    Messages:
    3,012
    State:
    south east ohio
    Remember the key word "average". We live an average of 67 years right now. Some die younger some live another 40 years. A70 lb flat could be 40 or 50 years old. That 123 pounder coulda been older.
     
  4. alh942

    alh942 New Member

    Messages:
    14
    State:
    Sour Lake, Texas
    I would have never thought they grow that fast, man they must be eating machines
     
  5. nuthinlikeacat

    nuthinlikeacat New Member

    Messages:
    517
    State:
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    I didnt realize that, but it is interesting to know.
     
  6. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    with the help of one of our state biologists(and fishin buddy + boc member) fishgeek aka matt. i posted some first hand data on age/size of our indiana flatheads in the indiana section. you mite take a look at that post brother.
     
  7. NechesBobcat

    NechesBobcat New Member

    Messages:
    27
    State:
    Texas
    I have heard that a catfish is one of the fastest growing animals. They will just about gain a pound for every pound they eat.
     
  8. slimcat

    slimcat New Member

    Messages:
    952
    State:
    marion kentucky
    That data really backs up what most people are seeing nowadays. I was told for a long time that catfish were 60-70years old. But now the real data shows otherwise. Most of your big fish are gonna average 50-60lbs. Anything over that is hard to find. Any cat over 100lbs is a once in a lifetime fish in my opinion.
     
  9. SangamonCatKiller

    SangamonCatKiller New Member

    Messages:
    488
    State:
    central illinois
    Thats funny I was watching a vid last week with some reps from cabelas fishing with a guide on the rock river. They were saying how slow they grew and that a 15 # flathead would be 20 or 30 year old fish!! LMAO @ that crap!. These guys were scared to grab the fish for the guide as he had to steer the fish with one hand and grab it up into the boat with the other. These guys were saying they didn't wanna risk losing his fish. Finally the guide hooks into 61#er and the guy drops it twice before the guide finally lands it himself. Fisherman!! Hmppffff. Needless to say you could tell the guide was putting them on dink spots as he pulled in monster after monster. A very funny vid.
     
  10. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,172
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    there was a thread on the old site that discussed this topic. Once again the key word is average. The data pointed out that the fish in the southern states were bigger than the ones up north at the same age.
     
  11. bo_jangles

    bo_jangles New Member

    Messages:
    1
    State:
    M.O.
    thanks for the information you gave me about catfish it has been realy helpfull:) :) :)
     
  12. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,172
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    The following is a study performed by Texas and Oklahoma marine biologist from 1959 to 1989.

    Age 4 females were sexually immature. Age class 5-7 were found to be sexually mature at rates of 90%-88%-94%. This may indicate that some females may be 10 years or older before reaching maturity.
    25% of age class 4 were sexually mature and all males age 5 and older were mature. Studies calculated that at 24 inches 84% of flatheads are sexually mature.

    Spawning took place when water temperatures were from 75-80 F. Nest sites were secluded rock outcroppings or submerged timber.
    The average number of eggs for all females studied was 1200 eggs per pound. Although the number of eggs per pound decreased as body size increased the percentage of viable eggs increased with body size.
    Simply speaking larger females produced more eggs by volume and at a rate that would hatch better than smaller females eggs. This correlates with common reasoning that larger flatheads would produce better spawns. A female of 50 pounds or more might produce a 300,000 to 400,000 eggs with most of them hatching. If 100 of those baby flatheads reach their first birthday it would be considered a very successful spawn.
     
  13. FlatGetter

    FlatGetter New Member

    Messages:
    196
    State:
    Illinois
    I think in a small river they may only put on 2 or 3 pounds a year. In one of the old Catfish insiders they were talking about flatheads on small rivers, and they were saying that a 20lb. flathead could be as old as 20 years old or as young as 10 years old. They said it were up to genetics in some cases.