Growth rate statistics for Flathead Catfish?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by RPnKC, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. RPnKC

    RPnKC New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Kansas
    One night I caught a nice flathead, it was 3am, I was fishing in my little jonboat in the rain wearing a trashbag. The fish gave me quite a fight, lots of drama running through flooded timber, line wrapped around trees, holding the rod & trying to run the trolling motor one handed....again in the rain at night. Then I had to get him in a net one handed. By the time I got him in the boat my knees were shaking, overcome with amazement and sense of accomplishment. No one else was on the lake that night, or maybe I wouldn't have harvested that fish if someone was there to photograph and weigh it. It weighed 35lbs. and was incredible compared to the channels I had become very successful catching. I have kicked myself for harvesting that fish, and have said ever since "they are more fun to catch than they are to eat". So, my question is, does anyone have any scientific data relating to the growth rate of flatheads. I have caught many 8-20lb flatheads on the same water, and would like to know how long it's going to take for a 20# to become a 35#.
     
  2. Flamekeeper

    Flamekeeper New Member

    Messages:
    2,314
    State:
    Louisville, Ken
    Average weight gain by a flathead in the state of kentucky is between 3-5lbs per year, so they can get big quick:wink:..No wonder they eat big baits.

    PS, I'm pretty sure thats what I read in a book on flatheads:eek:oooh:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009

  3. arkrivercatman

    arkrivercatman New Member

    Messages:
    4,472
    State:
    KS
    Slow. Up where you are at I think they grow pretty fast(Kansas River), as compared to other parts of the country. The only other places that seem to grow them fast are places where they are not native.


    The average annual increment of growth in length
    is approximately

    flve inches tor the tirst four years of Ufe, three inches during the following
    six. years, and decreases to about one inch per year by the fourteenth year
    (Table II, Figure 1). The average annual increment of growth in weight
    ae~leratea


    sharply to about five pounds per year by the ninth year of

    life (Figure


    1). On the basis of three-year moving averages the rate of
    weight increase declines slighUy after the tenth year of Ufe.


    http://digital.library.okstate.edu/OAS/oas_pdf/v34/p47_52.pdf
    This is from an OLD study done on lakes in OK. I am sure they are similar to lakes in Kansas. A River fish would probably grow even slower. Alot of the rivers in KS have lakes on them and that help grow the fish. Some rivers have resident flatheads that only live in rivers. Those will take the longest to grow.
    Its all dependant on available food and cover.
    Low harvest, lots of holes and forage = Lots of Big Fish.:cool2::smile2:
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2009
  4. Jollymon

    Jollymon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,619
    State:
    Wilm .N.C
    Rich sounds like u had to work hard for that flathead ,glad u have thought it out now ,an u would let him swim so u could catch him again sometime later :wink:
     
  5. RPnKC

    RPnKC New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Kansas
    So a 50lb. fish would be 10-17 years old? I have no problem accepting the idea that they are eating machines.:smile2: Ya know, LOOK at that mouth!
     
  6. RPnKC

    RPnKC New Member

    Messages:
    399
    State:
    Kansas
    Excellent Troy. Thank you. I will review both of these studies and post a very condensed set of statistics when time allows. The Kansas study found that 3 year old flatheads were 11.5-16.5". I really want to know, and let other fishermen know, how old these fish are that we catch. Also to know how long it will take for a replacement when a fish is harvested.
     
  7. Catfish_Scooter

    Catfish_Scooter New Member

    Messages:
    2,055
    State:
    Tennessee
    I'll have to go with Flamekeeper on that one. All i know in simplest term is they grow the fastest and fight the hardest LOL.