How to tell a catfish's age?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by Larry H., Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Larry H.

    Larry H. New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Mineral Springs,*State*
    Is there any way to approximate a cats age?
     
  2. Desperado

    Desperado Active Member

    Messages:
    1,245
    State:
    Pataskala, Ohio
    Name:
    Clarence
    I'm not sure ,but get a hold of the DNR and they could get you to someone who would know.
     

  3. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Messages:
    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
    Larry,
    If you can lift it over your head with one hand, its between One and Five years old. If it takes two hands to lift it over your head, then its Five to
    Ten years old. If you cant get its tail off the ground, then its Ten to Twenty years old. And finally, if you cant get it out of the water, its to old to mess with, so just cut your line and hope someone believes your story! :0a10:
     
  4. omots2

    omots2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    abrerdeen md
    Netmanjack of all the ways i heard to tell the age of a fish i relly think yours is the most correct. The way i do it is young cats hert when grabed wrong older cats finds are a lot duller.I will ask my boss just how you realy tell age because all i realy is size and limet. :rolleyes:
     
  5. Larry H.

    Larry H. New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Mineral Springs,*State*

    I dont know about all of that...
     
  6. omots2

    omots2 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    abrerdeen md
    Sorry it took so long to get back here but i ask several fellow officers and i am sorry to say i got the same answer you have to ask a biolagest :0a15:
     
  7. maddcatter

    maddcatter New Member

    Messages:
    614
    State:
    Newark, Oh
    Just this year a 92lb blue was caught and aged at 11yrs old. This seemed to shock a lot of fish biologists. They say the only accurate way to test the age of a fish is to closely examine a certain part of the fish. And the only way to do that is to kill the fish.
     
  8. Larry H.

    Larry H. New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Mineral Springs,*State*
    :0a24:

    :D

    Larry H.
     
  9. Larry H.

    Larry H. New Member

    Messages:
    7
    State:
    Mineral Springs,*State*
    Oh okay Thankyou

    Larry
     
  10. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    Catfish can be aged by taking a cross-section of their pectoral fin spines. If someone knows what they are doing he/she can literally dislocate the spine from the fish's shoulder and yank it off. It leaves a nasty-looking hole where the spine used to be but catfish are tough. Studies have shown that there is really no detrimental effect to the fish's survival after the spine is removed.

    Anyway, biologists can cut a thin cross-section (using a jeweler's saw) of the spine, look at it under a dissecting scope, and count the rings...very similar to aging a tree. For fish with scales, you count the rings on their scales.

    Madcatter is correct about killing fish for the best age estimate. Biologists use a fish's ear bones, called otoliths, to get the most accurate ages. Obviously a trade-off...and usually a lot more work!
     
  11. misterwhiskers

    misterwhiskers New Member

    Messages:
    273
    State:
    Trenton
    Where would you get a jewlers saw?


    That'll be somethin too see
    bunch of catters out on the water hackin off catfish spines
    lmao
    Peta would luvvvvvvvvvvvv that




    I'd really like to know if there is a difference between the ear bone thing and the spine ripping method?
    Do they both come to about the same age,because if it is fairly close why even bother with killing the fish?
     
  12. flaboy

    flaboy New Member

    Messages:
    616
    State:
    Wedgefield, SC
    I ain't never been smartenouf to tell a catfishs age cept that when it hits the grease its almost as old as It will ever be! LOL
    maby 15 min more?
     
  13. BKS72

    BKS72 New Member

    Messages:
    3,361
    State:
    East of KC
    I've heard a bunch of different things. A state wildlife biologist told my old man that in a good year a fish could put on a about a pound. But like someone said earlier, that 92lb blue was only 11 years old. I think they said that that world record blue that was 124 lbs was 30 years old. Thats around 4 lbs a year. That messed up my idea about figuring age by size :) Guess there's probably no real way to tell without pulling that bone or whatever. Probably like people, they get bigger with availability of food, condition of their environment, etc.
     
  14. TOPS

    TOPS New Member

    Messages:
    4,099
    State:
    Cabot,Arkansas
    I check and see how bad their teeth are worn!! :D Just kidding guys .I really have no idea
     
  15. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    Misterwhiskers:

    For young fish the pectoral spines & otoliths tend to match-up pretty well. But, as a fish ages, the spines become less reliable & the otoliths are definately the way to go. Whackin' a bunch of big fish is not something biologists like to do, but sometimes its the only way to get the info needed to make good management decisions.
     
  16. fwmud

    fwmud New Member

    Messages:
    693
    State:
    Wilson's Mills,nc
    It's an age old debate and the best I can figure out doesn't add up to a hill of beans.
    All the reading I've done by biologists, they really can't agree on anything really. They have stated that different species from different areas age and grow at vastly different rates.
    Kinda like a hodge-podge bunch of info. I don't think any two of them can agree whats the best way so that leaves us "lay-people" to make our best guesses?
     
  17. Gone fishin 4 kittys

    Gone fishin 4 kittys New Member

    Messages:
    678
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Every catfish is different! It depends on Genes,region,sex....


    The only way to tell exactly how old the fish is by examining something inside it's brain...


    Josh
     
  18. gtva

    gtva Member

    Messages:
    80
    State:
    Bassett, VA
    A study on fish from the James river showed that the rate of growth in catfish increases as the fish gets older. As a young, small fish they are limited to smaller foods like worms, insects, small minnows. As they get larger and move on to larger food, shad, herring, panfish; their rate of growth increases. Basically the bigger meal the fish can eat the faster he grows.
    GT
     
  19. Fatkat

    Fatkat New Member

    Messages:
    979
    State:
    Blanchester, Ohio
    I agree with flaboy, when they hit the frying pan they ain't gonna see any more birthdays, so it don't matter much after that. lol
     
  20. Dreadnaught

    Dreadnaught New Member

    Messages:
    5,444
    State:
    Henderson,Ky
    Yes you can find out how old a fish is by, picking up the fish and looking into it's left eye real close and ask it how old it is, LOL!! this works two fold: If it doesn't answer it is female and you have asked the wrong question, LMAO!!!

    I couldn't help myself, LOL!!!