I'm currently a Graduate Student at Oklahoma State University doing research on delayed catch & release mortality of blue catfish... The project I'm working on is funded by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and the goal here is to promote greater numbers of trophy-sized blue cats in Oklahoma lakes & rivers. Blue catfish exhibit indeterminate growth, meaning they continue to grow throughout their lifespan, and larger fish tend to be very old; often 20 to 30 years of age. That being said, it takes a LONG time for these trophy-fish to replenish themselves. To promote greater numbers of these larger fish, ODWC is considering the implementation of new legislation requiring jugliners and trotliners to release some of these larger fish (30"+) so that recreational fisherman will have a greater chance of experiencing these impressive animals. Before they can implement the law, they need to be sure that these fish survive the release process. While catfish are known to be fairly durable animals, their mortality rates are unknown. Furthermore, Oklahoma law only requires jugliners to check their lines every 24 hrs; this obviously lengthens the amount of time the fish will be struggling and decreases its chance of survival. While some jugliners and trotliners may be upset by this new legislation, it is well-known that smaller fish taste better and are healthier to consume since they contain fewer contaminants (PCB's and Methyl-mercury). So why not release some of the bigger ones? My job is to catch several hundred of these larger blue cats (30" or greater) on juglines and see how well they recover/survive the release process. To do this I need to find lakes and rivers that have GOOD NUMBERS of these larger fish. If you think you know some places where I can catch some of these larger fish please send me a personal message. I'm not asking you to reveal your "honey hole" but some help would be very much appreciated. All these animals will be monitored for 72 hrs and released (assuming they survive). Thank you for any assistance you can give me.