Ohio River Blue catfish / Flathead catfish populations

Discussion in 'OHIO RIVERS TALK' started by CincyCat, Dec 16, 2007.

  1. CincyCat

    CincyCat New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Ohio
    Heres a question for you guys. It seems to me that the bluecat population in the Ohio River has dramatically increased in the last 30 years while the flatheads have declined. I don't fish often in the summer and I mostly just fish in my marina, but even when I do fish the main river I would guess out of all the cats I've caught the last 4 years the percentages would be 60% channel, 39% blues and 1% Flatheads.

    I did read the flathead thread too and am fishing live bait and mostly after dark, but I do realize I'm not putting myself in the best Flathead situation.

    Those numbers are in comparison to my Ohio river fishing back in the late 70's and 80's when I was mostly bank fishing. I would say the numbers back then were more like 80% channels, 20% Flatheads and yes....zero Blues. I don't remember one bluecat in all the nights I spent fishing.

    Until 4 years ago I had not fished the river much at all because I switched to Striper fishing in Tennessee for a few years, so I'm not sure what happened in between.

    So the question is...where did all the bluecats came from??
     
  2. smokey869

    smokey869 New Member

    Messages:
    966
    State:
    frederickt
    they were stocked by the west virginia dnr, you can thank them, i dont remember when or numbers but i think they are reproducing now
     

  3. tbull

    tbull New Member

    Messages:
    3,318
    State:
    SW Ohio
    I can see why you may think that, and I am kind of a youngin, so I wouldn't have any evidence for back in the 70's and 80's. I seem to catch just as many of each species, the biggest difference is the season. Given I have caught more bluecats on the Ohio this year, but thats simply because this is the first year I have been able to fish on the main river in a boat during winter time. Now this summer I did catch a bunch of flatheads too, but now in the cold months, it is all blues and channels, and the occasional flathead. I can't wait until spring when the flatties get hungry again..:wink:
     
  4. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    There's your answer. With WV stocking up to 200,000 a year that is why you are seeing decent numbers of them now days.
     
  5. CincyCat

    CincyCat New Member

    Messages:
    60
    State:
    Ohio
    Thanks...I knew there had to be a reason for the big difference in numbers.
     
  6. katkiller77

    katkiller77 New Member

    Messages:
    1,549
    State:
    dayton ohio
    good it is worth my time to drive to cincinnati to fish the ohio river downtown under the 75 river bridge there thanks for the post :smile2:
     
  7. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Hearsay has it that in the Ohio River in OH that there r 9 Channel Cats for every one Johnny Cat.

    Yes WV is/was stocking the Blues.

    Hope this helps abit.

    :0a18:
     
  8. catcrazed

    catcrazed New Member

    Messages:
    575
    State:
    ohio
    I may make some people mad with this message but I know that the majority of people will agree with me. Me and my Uncle (Kataddict) fish More than the average, I guarentee it!! Through the spring summer and fall i would say atleast twice a week on the boat and most of the time more than that. Winter time just the same. We fish the meldahl pool most of the time and below every once in a while. Many Many Many times we have been out in the boat and have seen people pulling up there nets, wheather it be hoop nets, gill nets etc. Most of the time when we have seen people pulling these up they are usually close to the bank. We have noticed that Most of the fish in these nets are large flat heads. If you happen to be in the area just below the meldahl dam in a boat just keep an eye out and look how many nets line the banks!!! I will be honest with you it makes me sick!!!! I know that not every flattie is getting netted out of the river but On one particular day I was out by myself and watched a boat go from one net to another. Some I knew were there because they were the gill nets which were held up by 2 litter bottles. I watched him pull up some of them Which i didnt know were there which were the hoop nets. I was anchored and one of the hoop nets was very close to me and i didnt know. Close enough that when he was pulling it up he said hi to me and asked how my fishing day was going. I watched him pull up the net which had 4 Shovel heads in it. It just looked like a big giant minnow trap. 3 of the fish were for sure over 20lbs and 1 of those fish was probably close to 30lbs. I asked him how long he leaves his nets out to get this many fish and his reply was, just over night. he replied that he had 14 fish in the boat that were worth keeping and several that he through back that were "to small for him to mess with". He also replied that he had one more net to check and that he only netted in the spring summer and fall and mostly wanted the flat heads because that is what the paylakes wanted the most of.
    I got to thinking about that I started calculating in my head. Lets say that he nets an average of 10 flatties each night over 20lbs through the spring summer and fall months. I dont know what the rules and laws are or evan how many fish he is allowed to net per year but these nets are out all the time when we go fishing. Okay lets say 5 nights a week he gets 10 fish each night. Thats 50 fish per week which is 200 fish per month times 7 to 8 months of good netting weather. To my calculations that is 1400 to 1600 fish and this is just one commercial netter. Now some people may totally disagree or completely agree with this. But the way I saw it was that day i was out fishing those 14 fish were NEVER going to be caught by YOU or Me EVER!!!!!!!!! I understand that commercial netting is legal and I shouldnt let it get to me But it May Be some of the answer to the beginning of this thread. I Have caught many flatties out of the river but It is true, I catch a lot more blues and channels out of the ohio than flatties.
    sorry if i offended anyone, you may be a netter! Its just the opinion of A CATCH PHOTOGRAPH AND RELEASE fan.
     
  9. catfishrollo

    catfishrollo New Member

    Messages:
    6,894
    State:
    Ohio
    i am an avid flathead fisherman as you probably know, and when i read things like this it really dissturbs me. i have expressed my feelings in numerous posts about flatheads and the need to cpr breeding fish. i guess nothing ever will be done to stop these types of hideous activities until our resource is damaged to the point of near endangerment of the species.. i could go on and on about the different issues and problems with our current regulations, but that would just depress me and others even more during the holiday season when we all should be happy.. thanks for the interesting post, and happy holidays to everyone!! rollo
     
  10. catcrazed

    catcrazed New Member

    Messages:
    575
    State:
    ohio
    Thanks rollo. Coming from someone who so many people look up to on listen to on catfish1, it makes me feel like im not the only one who this seems to bug. Your right though I should have waited til the day after christmas to post that one lol.

    merry christmas to all and may santa bring ya your personal best in 2008:wink:
     
  11. jason454ci

    jason454ci Active Member

    Messages:
    1,307
    State:
    Zanesville, Ohi
    To answer the question on how many fish he can net a year I looked into KY commercial fishing laws.

    (2) There shall be no size limits on any commercially-harvested rough fish except that a commercial fisherman shall only harvest shovelnose sturgeon between twenty-four (24) and thirty-two (32) inches, as measured from tip of snout to the fork of the tail fin.

    Hopefully one day KY will jump on the boat with other states and adopt some regulations for catfish. Only time will tell though.
     
  12. binkfox77

    binkfox77 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    State:
    ohio
    yes catcrazed you are excatly right I have found that on the kentucky boundries flathead population has went down in the past few years while w.v. boundries have flourished.it is ashame that kentucky can't see through this.