Pennsylvania Flathead catfish - They want me to kill them?

Discussion in 'Flathead Catfish' started by Blacky, Mar 19, 2006.

  1. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    Awesome site guys!!!! Originally from Evansville, IN but know live in Philadelphia. Flathead catfish have been found in our local river starting in 1999. Now, according to the PA game and fish commission, they are eating all the sunfish and bass in the river. They ask us to not release any flathead catfish if we catch one. Of course they are native to western PA, but they should be killed if you catch them in eastern PA???:confused: :confused: :confused: . It's sad to see everytime I go to the local dams and fish, I see dead flatheads lying all over the banks:sad: :sad: . I've actually seen people catch them, slit the bellies open, and release them back:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: . And there's nothing I can do. just wanting to let you know how the PA FISH and BOAT COMMISSION works,

    peace,
    tan
     
  2. barbel

    barbel New Member

    Messages:
    486
    State:
    Somewhere
    Ya know, that makes me mad. They do NOT eat all of the sunfish and bass in a river system, especially not if it has a dam there. KS probably has one of the most abundant populations of flatheads in the lower 48 states and we dont have any shortage of any kind on sunfish or bass. And youre right, that isnt right to slit their bellies and put them back. At the very least eat them. Thats letting them die a long slow death. Absolutely disgusting :0a7:
     

  3. dinkbuster1

    dinkbuster1 New Member

    Messages:
    2,272
    State:
    Ohio
    i see someone doing that to any fish and im no doubt gonna go to jail!:mad:
     
  4. Rockjumper

    Rockjumper New Member

    Messages:
    358
    State:
    Parker,Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania, should I say more???
     
  5. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    I certainly don't condone those guys slitting bellies & leaving the fish for dead. If you're gonna kill it, why not take it home to eat...especially a catfish. But, let's put things in perspective. There's a reason for the PFBC's position on flathead's in eastern PA.

    Flatheads are not native to eastern PA. They have been introduced outside of their range and if you're at all familiar with ecology you know what happens when you start introducing non-native species. All you have to do is look at zebra mussells, and now round gobies, spiny water fleas, asian carp, eurasian watermilfoil, hydrilla, purple loosestrife, phragmites, etc., etc., etc. Even brown trout! Growing up & fishing small streams in northwest PA, I've watched over the years the exotic brown trout out-compete the native brookies. There was a time when I would catch almost exclusively native brookies, now the browns have moved farther & farther upstream and brook trout have become increasingly scarce. About the only places I can catch them anymore are in extreme headwater reaches. These introduced species often wreak havoc on the native ecosystems to the point that they can never recover to their previous state...without doing something drastic.

    Tan, I'll assume you're talking about the Delaware or Schuykill (sp?) River...maybe even the Susquehanna. Before flatheads, bass (smallmouth, largemouth, striped?) were most likely the top predator. Now, add another predator...and a predator that can get big enough to eat probably any smallmouth bass grown out there, and you are going to see changes in the fish community. Bass won't be the only thing affected. What about American shad and striped bass? Both big, huge, recreational angling industries. A healthy flathead population could set back years of intense management efforts by state & federal agencies.

    If you don't believe me, talk with the guys down there in the Carolinas. I think the Cape Fear River is managed in a similar fashion because of the effects flatties had on the native fish community.

    Barbel, flatheads are native to Kansas and they have been co-existing with bass and those other species for thousands of years. It's really tough to compare the two systems.

    Let me reiterate, I do not think that tossing flatties up on the shore or cutting them open is the right thing to do. My post is simply meant to give you some additional information and get you thinking about the other side of this argument.
     
  6. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,341
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    I'm sad to hear that people are killing Flatheads and throwing them up on shore over in the eastern part of the state. Flatheads have become my favorite fish! I would hope that there can be a balance between these fish and the native species without tossing the Flatheads up on the bank!:confused:
     
  7. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    I think the PABFC does this because a smallmouth bass/striped bass/ trout industry makes more money for the state than does a flathead catfishing industry. I'ts all about money and politics.
     
  8. Fishgeek

    Fishgeek Active Member

    Messages:
    1,149
    State:
    Indiana
    You're certainly not wrong Blacky! We also need to consider what most of the anglers in the area want. Which, unfortunately, is not flatheads. What size of flats are you seeing out there? Just curious.
     
  9. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    25 lb fish is big for out here. Like, I said only been around for about 7 yrs. plus no one out here knows how to fish for them. I couln't imagine if they fished at night, it would become a real massacre. They seem to really stack up in ares with boulders below dams. There are only a few of us out there who appreciate these fish, but we keep our fishing spots a secret. Flatheads are not so plentiful in the Delaware than it is in the Schukyll (slow flowing river with lots of structure (boulders and timbers) perfect flathead COUNTRY!!!! All flatheads are safe with me (hope to get pics this summer).

    peace
     
  10. wolfman

    wolfman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,081
    State:
    Triadelphia, WV
    Name:
    Walter Flack
    Im not a big fan of pay lakes, but catching and selling flatheads to a pay lake could be an option rather than killing them.
     
  11. Gone fishin 4 kittys

    Gone fishin 4 kittys New Member

    Messages:
    678
    State:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    I hate killing a flathead catfish as much as anyone but...



    .. listen the PA game and fish commission has but 10s of million into the shad population re-growth. And they want catfish to mess that up why?? The flatheads aren't native so there gonna have some kinda effect and in this case negatively. I don't think that the PA game commision is lieing to you! Cutting them and leaving them on bank is not the answer take them home eat them. Put them in a fish tank, I don't know be creative:p:p:p:p!


    Flathead are convors they will end up wiping hurting alot of species. In this day and age of Bass fishing as king and especially in Pa. Who do you think is gonnna win bass fishiner by the 100 hundred or catfishermen by the 10's.


    I would like to see them introduced but not at the demise of the who delaware and surrounding watersheds.

    I like to think realistically and in 20 years they are gonna be up into New York and New Jersey and the game commisons will have to deal with it they know that, as well as you and I. They are just praying by having people catch them they can slow down or maybe by a miracale stop the flathead catfish!


    This is something that could be done but, don't think so. I don't think the Game commisions like that anymore than we do.


    Just my thoughts on the matter!
     
  12. bigfish

    bigfish New Member

    Messages:
    432
    State:
    Dunbar WV.
    now im not the smartest fish in the tank but. and i dont want to ruffle any feathers but. i cant beleive that any one species of fish could wipe out another. now as far as i can figure a shad is a shad, and there is millions of them each year at our fishing spot, and the ba$$ fishermen crowd each other right at our favorite flat spot, cause it holds nice sized ba$$. so if a shad is a shad and a ba$$ is a ba$$. your trying to tell me that a pensylvania shad or bass cant survive like a wv. shad or ba$$ can. just my thoughts.
     
  13. cjb10876

    cjb10876 New Member

    Messages:
    59
    State:
    Pennsylvania
    Maybe we could train the flatheads to only eat carp and suckers....

    The issue here isn't the PFBC trying to slow the spead of an invasive species, It's irresponsible fisherman leaving the fish to die slowly instead of using them for food or at least killing them quickly and disposing of them properly.
     
  14. Blacky

    Blacky New Member

    Messages:
    10,351
    State:
    Philadelphia, P
    The problem is that the Schukyll is polluted and there is an advisory on eating anything out of there. I myself would NEVER eat any fish outta there. But like I said, the flatheads are here to STAY!!!!!!
     
  15. Pennsylvaniacatchaser

    Pennsylvaniacatchaser Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    11,341
    State:
    Sarver, Pa
    Instead of the Fish Commission worrying about Flatheads invading the eastern part of the state they should focus on those damn snakehead fish! Them things are gonna be a much bigger problem than Flatheads!
     
  16. river scum

    river scum New Member

    Messages:
    3,474
    State:
    hooterville indiana
    thats too bad about the slit flatheads. i think i would put the word out that you want those fish for meat. the flathead is by far the best tasting catfish in my opinion. would be nice to have a freezer full of fillets to share with friends and family.
     
  17. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller New Member

    Messages:
    1,029
    State:
    Akron, Ohio
    Other introduced non-native fish are the BASS, which I think/have read is by far is the most non-native introduced fish other then the Carp in the USA!!!!! The Brown Trout, Musky, Trout in alot of waters, Channels, Blues etc., etc.!! Most of the fish are predators and if ya want you can say the will change things when introduced too ;) !!

    Now here in Ohio IF it was not for man putting them there we would only have Flatheads in the Ohio River and a very few of the rivers feeding it. Which would mean ALL OUR LAKES WOULD BE VOID OF FLATHEADS!!

    After the Flatheads are introduced and established, they mainly feed on the Shad, from the studies I've read.
     
  18. cook

    cook New Member

    Messages:
    1,494
    State:
    Plattsburg,Mo.(near K.C.)
    Don't have too much to add other than throwing them on the bank is stinky,nasty,disgusting,and possible littering.

    In Fl.,non-native fish can't be transported or kept alive,I took it that you must either unhook it while still in the water or put it on ice immediatly.

    Is a law in Pa. that you can't release them,or just a suggestion.
     
  19. Eithne

    Eithne New Member

    Messages:
    408
    State:
    OK
    When I lived and fished on that side of the state, I saw signs saying that the PA FBC wanted any flatheads caught to be kept and killed, but there is no law, that I know of, making it mandatory.

    I personally don't think they're wrong in wanting to discourage non-native species, but either way it's ultimately up to whoever caught them. The real issue seems to be a lack of consideration by some people for the others who will fish and visit those waters. I know that I never saw dead or dying flatheads on the banks of any waters I fished which is a good thing since I rather liked those spots. :p
     
  20. Chief

    Chief New Member

    Messages:
    261
    State:
    Indiana
    i wish we had rules like that around here about gar. if i was you i would get on the phone and let the wildlife people know there littering the banks with dead fish. maybe they'll release or update the rules about it then. on the brightside there are all sorts of lakes and bodies of water being stocked with flatheads to break the panfish populations and increase the overall size. i know thats a big problem with many small camping lakes and ponds. its sad, but who knows it may end up helping the flatheads in the long run