A few weeks ago I was at the Gander Mountain store in Kingston to give a seminar on Striper fishing in the Hudson, when I learned something that should be very interesting to all NY catfishermen. Prior to giving my talk, they had a guy there from the DEC giving a presentaion on, among other things, the results of recent netting/electroshock surveys on the Hudson. The statistic that grabbed my attention was the one that showed the explosion of the population of Channel Cats in the survey area! Those of us who have fished this area for many years saw the introduction (illegally, according to DEC) of Channel cats in the Rondout and Wallkill rivers about 10-15 years ago and they have steadily increased in size and numbers ever since. . These fish enevitably found their way into the Hudson, and began to displace the indiginous species, the White Catfish. While possibly frowned upon by some as an "exotic" invasion, the appearence of Channels has been good news to cat anglers, as White cats rarely get over about 5lbs, and when hooked, fight just slightly better than a clump of weeds! The DEC's survey results shows a steady increase of Channels over the past several years, with the most recent survey showing a dramitic spike in the Channel Catfish population to the point that they now outnumber the Whites! I have caught a few Channels over 10lbs the last couple years, and have seen a handful in the 15lb range, although very few local anglers have been targeting them. With the amount of forage available, and the obvious suitability of this habitat for Channels , I feel this developing fishery is worthy of the attention of all NY catfish fanatics.