In Case You are Interested

Discussion in 'LOCAL TEXAS TALK' started by Leakyboat, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    Been talking to one of our fisheries Biologist,John Tibbs! This is some of the information he replied back to me with.Pretty interesting.

    Let me try and answer your questions specifically about catfish.

    Statewide, reservoirs are sampled for catfish using gill nets a minimum of every four years. The catch-per-net is used to determine relative abundance of each catfish species. Flathead (yellow) cats aren’t caught with enough frequency, usually, to give us much data. They are solitary and (I think) much less abundant than channels or blues in most reservoirs. Blues and channels are caught reasonably well. A catch rate of 2 to 4 per net is considered o.k., but our better lakes have catch rates 6 to 12 per net consistently, species combined. We also look at fish growth to determine if extra fish could be added without sacrificing growth. It makes little sense to stock if the fish take 5 years to reach 12” due to food or habitat limitations.

    As far as stocking, 2” channel catfish are occasionally stocked in large reservoirs that have recruitment problems (babies are spawned, grow up the first year and enter the population = recruitment). Larger 6”-9” channel catfish are stocked in state park lakes and community fishing lakes every year to provide fishing for urban anglers. Blue catfish 2” long are stocked in reservoirs with high shad abundance where blue cats are not present in sufficient numbers. In my district, for example, blue catfish have been stocked into Waco, Limestone, Belton, and Fort Parker. Two stockings are often employed in an attempt to make a self sustaining population. Once the population is established, additional stockings (hopefully) will not be necessary.

    TPWD research developed a new and innovative way to accurately age catfish. I was on the committee that implemented the new procedures statewide. It should dramatically improve our ability to evaluate and model catfish populations.

    Research is currently working on better ways to sample catfish. This summer they tested a new type of electrofishing method as well as several types of baited and unbaited hoop nets on Lake Livingston. They (well, I helped too) handled and tagged over 50,000 catfish. Preliminary results indicate that low-pulse DC electrofishing is a great way to sample blue catfish. We also found out that Lake Livingston has a BIG population of catfish.

    Specifically in this district, we evaluated the blue and channel catfish population on Lake Limestone. We spent several weeks sampling catfish with gill nets, more weeks aging the fish, and even more weeks modeling the population. In general, we found individuals of both species were growing much slower than we expected. Our blue catfish stocking took very well as we found most of the fish were from years where blue cats were stocked. Angler harvest was low. From this information, I would conclude that it would be helpful to harvest smaller fish in Lake Limestone to increase growth, and return any larger fish to the water. Stocking would only make the problem worse.

    In conclusion, I think that catfish management in Texas will be evolving rapidly in the next few years. We’ll have much better tools to assess populations with. Also, with angler groups such as those found on the ***** and ***** supporting our efforts, things will only get better.

    Please feel free to share this information with anyone you like.


    John Tibbs
    District Supervisor - Waco
    Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
    Inland Fisheries Division
  2. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    On the bottom of the article,he gives recognition to the *****,and *******.
    My Goal is to have another that they recognize,The BOC.I will be talking
    more to him,maybe some of us can particpate in some of their catfish projects.

  3. T-Bone

    T-Bone New Member

    South of Dallas
    Good post there Leaky, I'd like to help ya if you have any idea's let us know. I'm just up the road aways from ya, I live in Hutchins, not too much bigger than West if any at all. I used to camp at Fork Parker all the time as a lil guy. My Grandma still lives in Grosbeck, I used to see some big cats come out of the river behind the dam at Fort Parker. I might just have to go revisit that lake again some time.
  4. Leakyboat

    Leakyboat New Member

    Hey T-bone,
    He is suppose to get back with me,and let us know what we can do.I would certainly like to get a group of us together an help them with something.He is suppose to visit the sight also!
  5. Thomas P. Conley

    Thomas P. Conley New Member

    Copperas Cove,TX.
    Leaky, Very good post. I would like to see some stock programs on more local lakes in Central TX. I went out last Friday and hooked into some huge bluegills all over 10" with the largest going 13 1/2" on worms. Didn't even know this lake which I've fished for years had these fish in it. Now if only I knew where they hide in the warmer weather......
  6. Aquacat

    Aquacat New Member

    Sherman, Texas
    leakyboat, that is some good information. I think we all need to help out the twd.