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Discussion in 'LOCAL NORTH CAROLINA TALK' started by Bryan8552, May 1, 2007.

  1. Bryan8552

    Bryan8552 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    nc
    I posted this link in another thread and I don't think it generated a single response from anyone except Cafishrus. I'm sort of surprised. I realize that it's not saying what a lot of people want to hear. But, I do think that it is credible science concerning flathead catfish and that it simply tells us about the contribution the flatheads are making to our waterways. Please read it and tell us what you think about the next to the last paragraph. It's only one page!


    http://www.ncsu.edu/news/press_releases/02_10/253.htm
     
  2. SubnetZero

    SubnetZero New Member

    Messages:
    1,619
    State:
    Sherman IL
    Flatheads are predatory fish, thats a given.. Any Flathead fisherman will tell ya to use LIVE Bait.. As far as destructiveness to the NC Fisheries, I have no idea.. I do know a couple LAKES here that house a good number of LARGE (up to 70+ lbs) flatheads, and its also a very good Bass, Crappie, and bluegill lake.. You can also catch small to medium size Channel cats until your arms are wore out.. So who knows....
     

  3. greggofish

    greggofish New Member

    Messages:
    214
    State:
    Holly Springs, NC
    jump in this one.......

    That study was done a while back and anytime you hear anything about Flatheads and the upper cape fear they are always talking about the Cape Fear Shiner. You have to ask yourself and them two questions: Is the river going to turn into a dead zone once all the Cape Fear Shiners are gone? And what would the average angler like to catch when they fish for catfish? A White cat or Bullhead that tastes like the bottom of the river or a Flathead which has a much more desirable taste.

    I fish that part of the Cape Fear and I can catch all the small channels, different bream species you could ever want. In addition, there have never been as many eels as there are now....must be a zillion it seems, tons of carp, gar, bowfin, big and I mean big bass and a billion shad both Threadfin and Gizzards. The Flatheads have been there a good while and there are 60 pounders as well as a bunch of 2-4 pounders and everything in between.

    Nothing against the shiner, but if they were endangered before the flatheads got there, they were too delicate anyway. Sometimes you have see what the people that actually fish would like instead of the liberal universities and researchers that don't even fish (for the most part).

    A good selective harvest by the apex predators (us) is all it takes to keep things in balance.

    I say good bye little shiner and hello big old ugly flathead whose only fault is the startling resemblence to my mother in law.:big_smile:
     
  4. jbarnes17

    jbarnes17 New Member

    Messages:
    536
    State:
    Commerce, Oklahoma
    I'm not familiar with your part of the country, but here in Oklahoma flathead are pretty abundant. It doesn't seem to affect the other fish species such as crappie, blue gill, and channels. But we also have alot of shad for them to feed on as well.
     
  5. Mac-b

    Mac-b Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,271
    State:
    North Caro
    We, the members of the Carolinas Catfish Club were made aware of this problem in early 2002 by the folks in Raleigh (NCWRC). This is within the time line of the article by Dr. Kwak (10-1-2002). A follow up study or report was to be completed in the summer of 2003. Bryan, do you know if this last study was published/released?

    If we could get the flathead to develope taste buds for white perch, it would help everyone. The white perch has almost destroyed the white bass population in several locations.

    Dr. Kwak states that the flathead only eats live bait fish. This is totally wrong in my opinion, because I and others catch them all the time on white perch heads, bream heads and filets/strips form bass, striper, bream, carp., shad portions and gizzard shad parts (all of which are dead, not alive). Dr. Schramm is a strong believer is talking to fishermen/women about what they are seeing in the field (lakes) and maybe Dr. Kwak should extend his research in that direction.

    Are flatheads having an impact on sunfish, I don't know. Was it a mistake to introduce them into all bodies of water, I don't know. One thing I do know is that on LKN in certain areas we have less bream/sunfish around docks, piers, etc. than we had 15 to 20 years ago. I have always blamed this decline on the use of chemicals on lawns to kill wild grasses/weeds, clover, etc. and new constructions around the lake. Is my opinion of the cause correct, I don't know.

    From what I have read and hear over the past five years, it appears that the flathead problem is down east. The flathead is getting blamed for the decline in redbreast and other sunfish. Could it be possible that some other fish (white perch) is the root of the problem. The white perch eats the eggs of almost all fish and their fry. We know or think that the white perch is responsible for our lack of white bass on LKN. Are there white perch in the waters where the flathead is alleged to be doing all this damage?

    Bottom line is, we and they do not know everything we need to know about the flathead. Is it a beast or just another catfish, who knows!
     
  6. Ghost River

    Ghost River New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    Carolina
    Well obviously there are some holes in his press release but when you are tryingto educate a completely uneducated public, it's best to keep it simple. There for I'll forgive him for that.

    Uncommon sense tells me that if you want an abundent, trophy catfish population in a body of water, you had better have the baitfish to support them. Therefor the body of water better beable to FIRST support a lrge population of baitfish. They have to be able to eat and multiply and we as anglers forget that quite often. The remember the flathead, channel, and blue are about second from the top of the food chain. They have to eat and what they eat has to eat and so on.
     
  7. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    Lots of good points here that will earn you rep from my perspective.I am extremely proud of the fact that we are having extensive debate /discussion on catfish management issues in an adult non finger pointing manner.The passage of laws and the awareness levels of catfishermen are both reflective of the fact that there are lots of us and more and more of us are becoming involved.The progress we have made across the country in the last 5 years alone is impressive.The Cape Fear Shiner is a lightning rod as an endangered species but it is swimming in a river full of predators not just flatheads.So to pose the flats as a special threat is mis leading.There is nothing more dangerous to the enviroment in general than an endangered species biologist.They have tunnel vision and dont want to hear anything else.As far as I know, despite all the claims that the flats are destroying sunfish populations no one has presented conclusive FACTUAL data to support the claim.I m sure everyone can say they THINK there are less redbreasts than before but I doubt anyone is ever going to prove that flatheads are the exclusive cause..The white perch is another excellent point.Flats love white perch.I have asked the guides at Santee what happened to the great white bass fishing they used to have and they all say that the white perch have destroyed that fishing.Again they cant prove that either but the anecdotal eveidence is mounting the the white perch and white bass cant co-exist together.SO if flats are preying heavily on WP then that could be a desirable characteristic.The entire mind set in fisheries biology has shifted away from trying to provide the best fishing experience, to re-establishing only what was native to the waters .No one of course, points to the freshwater stripers as a bad example but they werent native in most of the places the exist now.Anyone suggesting that stripers be erradicated or electro fished would be laughed out of town just as someone suggesting that all the German Brown Trout be killed or harested would be.Keeping an open mind and a broad overall perspective will serve us much better I believe.:smile2: :big_smile:
     
  8. mack in n.c.

    mack in n.c. Member

    Messages:
    287
    State:
    cary nc
    minor point but sudy is wrong on flatheads not native to nc......study should of said not native to most of nc.......flatheads are native to the french broad, little tennesee and new river as well as severl others that drain into tennesee and va........also anytime a new , foreign or exotic anmal gets into an ecosystem there is usually a big spike and then a normal settling of the nummbers....my problem withthe state is they were the ones who put the catfish in the capefear to begin with...now they want to bash anglers who do what they did........also this may may raise a few eyebows but i dont mind someone keeping a big one.......they are a non native species to this area and i dont keep most of them but i do keep some but i see reports all the time of a guy who is seen keeping 1 and the posters says what a shame.......how do you know that that guy hasnt let the last 20 big ones go.......also the state stocks non native species every week........browns and rainbows........mack
     
  9. greggofish

    greggofish New Member

    Messages:
    214
    State:
    Holly Springs, NC
    Could not have said it better myself. Be very careful and aware of the folks with an agenda. Cape Fear Shiners are cute and all but extinction of a species is as natural as creation. Most Flatheads wouldn't even see a 1 inch fish anyway, but plenty others will and do. Everywhere you look people with radical views on doomed species try hard everyday to make us all stay home and watch nature on the Discovery Channel rather than experience it first hand. Today it's the Cape Fear Shiner, the Piping Plover etc....tomorrow.......who knows. We need more sportsmen minded researchers and less who have not been outside in 10 years.

    To sport fisherman, the soulutions come more easily. Angler imput is valuable it is comes from a reliable source.

    And for the record......White Perch in my experience are way to aggressive and multiply way to fast and effectively to be anything more than a nuisance. They have totally polluted Jordan, Harris and Falls Lakes and those are just some of the ones I fish......There are so many, it's hard sometimes to catch target species.
     
  10. floundahman

    floundahman New Member

    Messages:
    564
    State:
    North Caro
    There are lots of very good observations on this thread. I think Jim made the best point regarding the study and that's tunnel vision. The individual river systems are entire ecosystems. The flathead is just one cog in the wheel. I heard doctor Schramm talk about yellow perch populations in Lake Michigan. He spoke about dramatic increases and decreases with many mitigating factors that exhibited some observable pattern; meaning that population changes were normal and even somewhat predictable. Even if baitfish populations decreased after the introduction of flatheads, that doesn't necessarily indicate a cause and effect. I wouldn't want to disregard the study simply because I like catching flatheads, but I believe that the study is too narrow to cause any dramatic change in my behavior as an angler.
     
  11. Mark J

    Mark J New Member

    Messages:
    9,407
    State:
    Four Oaks, NC
    You would have to read the articles written on the study. Not just the press release.
    To date there are 6 articles and there will be more.
    This study is done by the NCSU zoology department in conjunction with the NCWRC and funded by the NCWRC.:eek:oooh:

    Kwak is both an avid hunter and fisherman who happens to also be heading these studies.
    He's planning a catfish symposium for 2010 in Memphis Tenn with state agencies, scientists, biologists, and anglers invited to participate.
     
  12. Ghost River

    Ghost River New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    Carolina
    I don't know if this has anything to do with the equation or not but the whole Native vs. Non-native debate seems insignificant to me to start with. When our ancestors started building dams and locks on these river a few years back, in my opinion the whole native/ non-native went out the window. Now you have a totally unnatural new ecosystem.

    To me it's sort of like our local Greenway area that runs along the Broad River not 3 miles from my house. This land was logged 30+ years ago and loblolly pines replanted. Through a series of transactions the state donated it to the county and now a "greenway commitee" manages it as a park. Well the pine beetles have been reeking havoc on the mature trees for the last 10 years and the comittee has a few of those lovely middle aged women who have been educated far beyond their intellegence levels. They could not stand to let a logging outfit come in and do a selective thinning of the diseased and infested trees. These well-meaning ladys couldn't stand the thought of those great pines being cut and hauled off so they blocked the votes. This spring the whole thing had to be clearcut. It is now barren of anything but limbs and tire tracks. They will spray and replant probably in the fall.

    What does this have to do with fish, well I'll tell you. When the natural hardwoods and pines were logged off 30 years ago and rows of genetically improved loblollys replanted, "natural enviroment" went out the window. There is no more "natural selection" unless you leave it alone for about a century. That ship sailed and now it has to be managed accordingly. Hopefully by people who know what they are doing. It's the same with our rivers and lakes now. WE humans changed them, now they have to be manged and I think that that native species stuff became irrelevant when the first spillway was constructed. It's unnaturaly anyhow at this point and we certainly are not going to change it back.

    I know very little about the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers but I am told that well over 200lb fish swam in those rivers long before we discovered them and now they don't. Some like to say that market fisherman caught them all but it is my opinion that their downfall was simply what we did to the river in clearing it, dredging it, building locks and so on. For whatever reason it is no longer an ecosystem that will support those huge giants. As metalica says "Sad but True".
     
  13. price

    price New Member

    Messages:
    175
    State:
    North Carolina
    Not starting WWIII...just my opinion. I would rather have large flatheads than white cats and bullheads even if they are not native. I heard that flatheads had hurt the bream/bluegill populations on the Cape Fear and the Edisto Rivers in NC/SC. I went fishing above Lock 3 on the Fear and was very worried about catching bream for bait due to this common thinking. I was equally worried about the Edisto in SC, because I had read published reports (from studies) about how flatheads had decimated the sunfish population there. The result, I went to the Cape Fear and just picked a "bream" looking area at random, and caught enough bait for 2-days worth of fishing. I continued to fun fish for them and caught several that approached 1-LB. This was in an area that has the highest flathead population on the Cape Fear. On the Edisto I just picked an area and fished from the bank and caught enough bream for a days fishing in about 10 minutes. Fun fished for them awhile and just got tired of catching them. I would rather fish for huge flatheads than 10 inch long bullheads or white cats. I would also say either the flatheads in the Cape Fear and the Edisto rivers are not having the impact that studies say they are....or I am the best bream fisherman alive (I'm not). I posted earlier about the importance of angler observations, and here is an example one I made after fishing for bream in each river. The flip side to this is that just like bream anglers, catfish anglers (and all anglers) worry about their "favorite fish". I worry when lots of trophy cats are removed and bream anglers worry when flatheads are introduced. Where is the truth..prob. somewhere in the middle. Remeber also that the shocking on the Cape Fear was not passed because of scientific studies or anglers creel surveys. I local politician in Bladen County got the rule passed as a local ordinance in 1984 (the same man lost the election this past year). Another example is that jug fishing isn't allowed on Lake James on the Catawba River system in Marion,NC. This is not a wildlife law but a local ordinance passed by McDowell and Burke Counties.
     
  14. Ghost River

    Ghost River New Member

    Messages:
    466
    State:
    Carolina
    You know I've always wondered about Lake James. They dont allow jugging (I suppose because of the "junking up" part) but they will allow some of the trashiest looking house-boats you've ever seen to be tied up all around it. I mean these are singlewides that float. Funny how politians think isn't it. But back to the subjest.
     
  15. greggofish

    greggofish New Member

    Messages:
    214
    State:
    Holly Springs, NC
    on the folks conducting this research is that they are all "restoration" based in their projects and thinking. Not many sport fishermen are in this and many other cases. I want a healthy ecosystem but just not one with the same species as they do.

    We pay for this research and should have some say in what it is we would like to pursue. I think that there are many things leading in that direction (hence the reason for this and many similar threads) and that is a good thing.

    Just because the river was created with species x y and z does not mean that those same species are what is desired by the people that actually utilize the resource (past just floating on it or looking at it) today.

    I think everyone has at least the primary and most important goal in common:

    A healthy and balanced body of water.

    Now what species make up that balance is the crux of the issue. The NCWRC has proven in the past they are willing to use non native species as management tools (hybrid bass, Striped bass, etc...) so I say do the same thing but with a different objective at the end of the day.

    I have no doubt that some of the researchers fish but....I doubt they cat fish much call it a hunch but I bet I am right......:lol:
     
  16. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    so after reading prices post about the local ordiance of no jugging.....it can be done on other lakes too. i rather have the old ragged house boats. they make good structure when they sink.:big_smile: thanks for answering my question on the other post price. sorry for being off subject.
     
  17. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    now this is a good place to put them results from the studies without rambling. i asume these numbers was what made for the above press release in post number one of this thread. these are kwak numbers.

    2001 results
    26.3% crayfish
    18.5% sunfish
    57.5% unknown

    2002
    27.4% crayfish
    14.3% sunfish
    61.9% unknown