Learn Blue Catfish Habits and more...

Discussion in 'LOCAL OKLAHOMA TALK' started by tkishkape, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    27th Annual Meeting
    of the
    American Fisheries Society
    Holiday Inn Express
    Oklahoma Aquarium
    Jenks, Oklahoma
    February 21-23, 2007
    Meeting Schedule
    February 21, 2007
    Wednesday Evening
    Oceans Room, Holiday Inn Express

    4:30 pm - 6:00 pm

    6:30 pm - 10:00 pm
    Social Mixer

    February 22, 2007
    Thursday Morning
    Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn Express

    8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

    8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
    Welcome – Opening Remarks – Introductions

    9:00 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.
    Seasonal and habitat-specific length bias of electrofishing for blue catfish
    (Ictalurus furcatus)
    Kris Bodine

    9:20 a.m. - 9:40 a.m.
    Annual Movement Patterns of Adult Blue Catfish
    (Ictalurus furcatus) in a Large Reservoir using Ultrasonic Telemetry.
    Corey Lee

    9:40 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
    Comparison of Catfish Harvest Statistics by Species and Season
    Jeff Boxrucker

    10:00 a.m. - 10:20 a.m.
    Angler Attitudes, Harvest Rates, and Channel Catfish Population Sizes
    at Close-to-Home Fishing Program Ponds
    Dane Balsman

    10:20 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.

    10:40 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
    Recovery of a Fish Community Following a Golden Algae Kill
    in Lebanon Pool, Lake Texoma.
    James Morel

    11:00 a.m. - 11:20 a.m.
    Blue-green algae abundance in Tulsa District reservoirs
    in Oklahoma and Kansas.
    Tony Clyde

    11:20 a.m. - 11:40 a.m.
    Present and Future Colonization Trends
    of the Zebra Mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)
    in the Arkansas River (Tulsa County)
    Sam Ziara

    11:40 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    Evening Hole and Lost Creek Restoration Project
    at the Lower Mountain Fork River
    James Vincent

    12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    Thursday Afternoon

    1:30 p.m. – 1:50 p.m.
    Arkansas River Corridor Project
    Amie Hankins

    1:50 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
    Assessment of Striped Bass in the Arkansas River
    through Tulsa County Using Ultrasonic Telemetry
    Don Groom

    2:10 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
    Home Range and Movements of Alligator Gar
    in Lake Texoma, Oklahoma-Texas
    Eric Brinkman

    2:30 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.
    Patterns of ecological succession and fragmentation in a reservoir:
    What is the future of Lake Texoma and its resources?
    Tim Patton

    2:50 p.m. – 3:10 p.m.
    Population Estimates and Angler Exploitation of Paddlefish
    in Grand Lake, Oklahoma 1979-2004
    Brent Gordon

    3:10 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
    Oklahoma Aquarium
    John Money

    3:30 p.m. – 3:50 p.m.

    3:50 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Symposium on Water Allocation Issues in Oklahoma

    5:15 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Student Career Forum
    Hosted by the OSU Student Subunit

    Thursday Evening
    Oklahoma Aquarium

    6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Social Mixer

    7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
    Banquet Buffet and Auction

    9:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m.
    (Oceans Room, Holiday Inn)

    February 23, 2007

    Friday Morning

    Grand Ballroom, Holiday Inn Express

    8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
    OKAFS Business Meeting
    OKAFS Members

  2. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Sounds like a lot of good info is going to be presented. Hopefully they'll have this in print format so everyone can read up on their findings. I can't attend but is this open to anyone to attend?

  3. gilmafam

    gilmafam Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the post.... like to attend but live to far to do so....

    baayrunner ray
  4. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    This meeting is an open meeting for any interested parties...

    I have asked in an email if there is an admission charge, but as of yet there has been no answer. I'll be sure to post when I hear from them.

    I intend to attend and gather as much printed info as I can so it can be shared with other interested fishermen.
  5. soonercat

    soonercat New Member

    I had always wanted to see the aquarium anyway so would any body like to share expenses in okc/norman area? maybe a stop to wet a line also, should have some weather for it,maybe they will wake up and be lurking the shallow warm water for a bit!
  6. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Checotah, Oklahoma
    Albert, as of now, I plan to attend.
  7. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    I received this communication from Cliff Sager concerning the forum. The price for the entire three day forum is $40.00, including the banquet, drinks and mixers. For those of us not members of the ODWC that are interested in the Thursday meeting, he has made this offer.

    When you get to the door, simply mention that you are a member of B.O.C.. and you wll be admitted for $10.00.

    Tape recorders, cameras and the like are allowed, and there will be a program containing the highlights of each subject.

    I will be attending Thursday morning's lectures and possibly some of the afternoon programs as well. My intent is to gather information in whatever form I can and present it to B.O.C. members here on this forum.

    Meeting registration for yourself and those not attending the socials and banquet will be $10. I will speak with the presenters about providing you a copy of the PowerPoint presentations.

    I appreciate your interest in this meeting and look forward to seeing you there. If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call.

    Cliff Sager
    NE Region Fisheries Biologist
    Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation
    9097 N. 34th St W.
    Porter, OK 74454
    Office: 918-683-1031
    Mobile: 918-441-1666
    Email: cs_odwc@hughes.net"
  8. TDawgNOk

    TDawgNOk Gathering Monitor (Instigator)

    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Sounds great Albert. Wish I could attend but I'm stuck at work.

    Look forward to seeing the information that you gather for us.

    Thank you!
  9. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    Thursday was a great meeting... got to visit with old friends and meet new ones. The info was outta site!

    I'm still trying to digest all that I heard and recorded. I only stayed until lunch break, but I had heard the speakers I intended to listen to.

    I'll work on the report tonite and post it here tomorrow for those interested. I am expecting to receive the full powerpoint presentation soon, and that will be posted as well.

    Let's go fishing!
  10. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    Wow! I’ve never seen so many ODWC wardens in the same place!

    Kris Bodine of the ODWC, spoke of his experiences while performing electrofishing on several northeastern Oklahoma lakes including Kaw, Keystone and Grand Lakes.

    Seasonal and Habitat-Specific Length Bias of Electrofishing for Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus)

    “Current Sampling Methods for Blue Catfish are strongly size-biased making it difficult to accurately access population and size structure. To understand this bias for electrofishing, seasonal and habitat-specific sampling began in June 2006.

    Kaw, keystone and Oolagah reservoirs were sampled seasonally (spring, summer, winter, fall) using 15pps-DC electricity at 1000W.

    Season, Habitat, Depth, and reservoir sections will be analized to determine which variable will yield the highest catch-per-unit effort (CPUE) of preferred length (greater than 30 inches) for Blue Catfish (which appear to be typically underrepresented).

    Beginning in spring 2007, we will quantify the length-frequency bias of electrofishing for blue catfish using samples from a population with a known density and length frequency. Two 6-10ha coves per lake will be isolated from the main lake and stocked with 20 fish from each 100mm length class. Each cove will be sampled using low frequency pulsed-DC electricity. The catch rate and length of frequency will be compared with the actual population size and length frequency using the Peterson mark-recapture index.”

    The spring, summer and fall studies produced fish in several types of habitat including deep water, medium depth flats, windy points and standing timber. The greatest percentage of fish came from windy points in all three seasons. The fish length was graphed against the number caught in each of the different habitat types.

    The winter season study was unique in that there was absolutely NO data produced due to no fish being brought up by electrofishing. The official position is that the electrofishing technique did not work the same due to cold water temperatures. One line of thought was that higher cold water densities prevented the stunned catfish from rising in the water column while another line of reason questioned the effectiveness of the technique on the catfish.

    More studies will be undertaken to increase the database in 2007.

    As soon as this author receives the ODWC produced copy of the Power Point program files, they will be made available to anyone who wants to see them.

    The second speaker was Corey Lee of the ODWC.

    Annual Movement Patterns of Adult Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) in a Large Reservoir using Ultrasonic Telemetry

    Potential over-harvesting of trophy adult blue catfish across the United States has increased management agencies’ concerns about how sustainable the populations are.

    This is a concern in Lake Texoma, on the Texas-Oklahoma border, which has historically yielded multiple trophy-sized blue catfish greater than 50kg.

    An understanding of movement patterns and habitat use is vital to developing sampling protocols that provide representative stock assessment indices. Acoustic Telemetry is being used to monitor adult blue catfish movements in the Washita and Red River arms (20 fish per arm) of Lake Texoma.

    With the assistance of Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Oklahoma Fishery Research Lab, capture and tagging of these fish began in December 2006, and monitoring the fish movements will continue through the winter of 2007/2008.

    Corey was actively patterning the annual movement of adult blue catfish in Lake Texoma using ultrasonic modules surgicaly inserted inside the fish’s body cavity. The range of detection was up to 1 ½ miles using directional ultrasonic telemetry.

    The subject fish were captured using jug lines north of the highway 70 bridge. The fish were then removed to the ODWC lab where the modules were surgically inserted. After the fish recovered, they were released very near the place they were caught.

    Some fish stayed within a mile of the release point while others relocated up to 10 miles away within three days. Some fish released in the Washita arm traveled up the Red River and returned to the main lake.

    More data are being collected to document seasonal migrations as well as weather factors throughout 2007.

    Jeff Boxrucker, ODWC Chief Biologist reported on his group’s study of the Comparison of Catfish Harvest Statistics by Species and Season.

    “Angler Interest in the pursuit of “Trophy Sized” catfish has increased in recent years; however agency management programs have lagged behind angler desires.

    Recent studies have indicated that growth rates of reservoir blue catfish populations are slow, making management for trophy individuals challenging. In addition, catfish angler harvest statitistics have not been investigated.

    Personnel from the Law Enforcement Division of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation were asked to count and measure catfish harvested by anglers during their routine enforcement activities. Number of anglers in each party, angling method, and number, length and species of catfish harvested were recorded. Data were collected from 2477 catfish anglers on 56 bodies of water from mid-May through December 2006.

    Most anglers pursuing catfish used rod-and-reel (62.7%), followed by juglines (27.5%), trotlines (6.7%), and noodling (3%). More catfish were harvested with rod-and-reel than juglines, 2325 and 1450, respectively, but juglines were more efficient. 2.1 catfish/angler for juglines vs, 1.5 catfish/angler with rod-and-reel.

    Less than 1% of anglers harvested a daily creel limit of catfish.

    On an annual basis, few anglers (6.1%) harvested blue catfish greater than 30 inches, but that percentage increased in the fall (11.4%) and winter (57.5%).

    The percentage of blue catfish greater than 30 inches in the harvest is low (3.0%) on an annual basis but this is still substantially higher than the percentage of blue catfish greater than 30 inches in population samples (0.5%)

    The percentage of large blue catfish harvested increased markedly in November and December (19%).

    This creel study will continue for another year and the data, along with population data, growth rate information, and angler demographic information will be used to formulate management strategies to preserve and/or enhance the trophy fishing potential for blue catfish on Oklahoma waters.”

    In the actual presentation, details in the powerpoint slideshow emphasized the need for more and better data contributed from catfish anglers. Thanks were extended to the anglers that provided specimens for aging to the ODWC in 2006 and a request for more information to help round out the study. Please take the opportunity to assist in 2007 by:

    • Collect the head from cleaned catfish, marking it with a unique number recorded elsewhere with the species, length, body of water and date the fish was caught. The unique number can be applied to the dried skin of the fish head with a Magic Marker and must be recorded with the unique data. Freeze the head in plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn. When you have collected a box full (25-50 heads) contact Jeff Boxrucker of the ODWC to arrange for pick-up.
    • Maintain a fishing trip log, collecting data including date fished, weather, water temperature, body of water fished, approximate location (ie: Washita Arm, L&D17, Arcadia Dam, etc.), depth of water fished, length of time fished, method of fishing, bait used and last but not least, species, number and size. This record should be maintained for your own use and the data reported to the ODWC biology department will help fill in the blanks.

    There are new creel limit recommendations being formed this year for submission to the Oklahoma lawmakers. One of the new limitations being discussed is to create a new limit… only one fish over 30 inches per day. Another is to increase the total creel limit from 15 to 25 catfish in aggrigate daily, leaving the minimum length of flathead at 20 inches and flathead daily limit at 5.

    This new limitation would create a “trophy catfish” fishery, allowing the adult fish time to grow to trophy proportions. Your comments or suggestions should be voiced to the ODWC.

    There were several more presentations made after the lunch break, but I did not attend them… I apologize for the lack of fortitude.
  11. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Thanks for the information there Albert!! We do have tons of Blue Cats in our lakes but not enough big boys. I like the idea of having only one Blue over 30 inches per day. I'm sure this could only help make our lakes better. I notice that the ODWC would like our comments and suggestions.....do you have a e-mail address to any specific person to forward comments? Also I notice they were looking for sampling again for bluecats. I sent a email to Jeff last year and I thought he was mainly looking to sample larger blues...do they want any size or just larger fish to sample.

    Thanks again for the information.
  12. fishnfool68

    fishnfool68 New Member

    Near Tulsa Oklahoma
    I can't wait for the rest of the info.Thank you for the report.From the % of folks reported catching catfish,I've determend I'm not the only one not catching many fish.Misery loves company:wink: It is good to know its not just me:big_smile:
  13. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    When I spoke with Jeff Boxrucker, jboxrucker@odwc.state.ok.us , he didn't specify a size range, but if I had to hazard a guess, I'd expect that he needs larger fish to get a handle on the older fish population. I personally am collecting heads from all the fish I clean. Some of them are as small as 3 pounds, most will be smaller than 10 pounds. If a larger fish is hooked deeply and the hook cannot be removed without injuring the fish, I'll clean him too.

    I will actively seek out local fishermen on the river to retrieve data and the heads of fish they clean.

    I have begun creating a daily fishing digest containing the data requested in the first message. It will be sent once a week to Jeff's email address.

    Jeff Boxrucker is the real thing, guys. He appreciates straight talk from folks that want to help. He NEEDS our help.
  14. catman george

    catman george New Member

    Kim Ericson is retiring at the end of March. Rumor has it that Jeff Boxrucker might be Kim Ericson's replacement as the head of fisheries. If this happens it will be very good for Oklahoma sportsmen.

    catman george
  15. Tiny

    Tiny New Member

    Jeff Boxrucker is the fishery biologist that fished with me last year when we shot the show on bluecat fishing and channelcat fishing on keystone for Outdoor Oklahoma and he said it looked like we were about two years out on changing the regulations to allow the fish to grow. This is encouraging with the added news from Albert. It looks like it may actually happen.
  16. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    That's some great news and I think it will be a step in the right direction. We have been releasing all blues 10 lbs. and over for awhile now. We have 20 to 30 boats in the local tornament and all fish are released after the tournament. Most of the teams have adopted the same guide lines of releasing all fish over 10 lbs. when they are just out fishing. But there are a few that it will take a law change to get them to release bigger fish.
  17. tkishkape

    tkishkape New Member

    Gore, Okla
    The new regulation limiting the number of larger fish will be hard to enforce as long as snaglines, trotlines and jugs are allowed to be used.

    Snaglines are totally indescriminate in the fish they catch... and unless the snagline is checked at least daily, the fish will die on the line, wasted.

    Trotliners are much fewer than they once were, but the trotline is very effective in catching the larger fish. Injuries sustained by the fish while fighting the line are often life-threatening if the fish is released. Abandoned trotlines continue to catch fish until the hooks rust away or are removed by the angler.

    Jugs are a very effective method of catfishing and is becoming more popular.

    The only problem I have with them is the huge number of abandoned or "lost" jugs that I find washed up on the banks of the lake/river. Every Monday finds a new crop... oddly enough most of them have absolutely no ID on them as required by law.

    I collect several of them every week, wind them up and toss them into the dumpster at the ramp. I started sending a postcard to the owner listed on the jugs, but so many have no ID that I gave up.

    I'm almost ready to recommend:

    • that a special trotline tag be issued by the ODWC for each trotline set.
    • that a special snagline tag be issued by the ODWC for each snagline set.
    • that a special jugline tag be issued by the ODWC for each jugline being used.
  18. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Checotah, Oklahoma

    I hope to see the day when all fish are given the respect, research, and management effort that only a few now enjoy.