PDA

View Full Version : Poll: Local Catch and Release Practices of Catfish



Diego916
10-05-2008, 11:36 AM
I'm posting this poll because I'm curious what people are doing with the catfish they catch. Please vote accurately. It is completely anonymous so no one will bash you for voting one way or another. Also, guests can vote even if they are not registered members.

BIG_ONE
10-05-2008, 05:15 PM
catfish breeds like rabbits, there's isn't much to worry about it...unless there's a commercial catfish fishery like salmon >:( ;D

Budtall
10-05-2008, 07:28 PM
I don't eat fish, so I release all fish ;)

longshot
10-05-2008, 07:41 PM
I keep an occasional cat between 3-5lbs for my grandmother. I like fish but its the pain of cleaning them as well as im just not much of a killer!!! But give me a striper, halibut or salmon and im a born killer!!!LOL
LS

joshc40
10-05-2008, 09:07 PM
I keep all of my cats seeing as I only caught threeXD. The ones I caught are while trout fishing. I've lost some big ones but snapped my six pound test. I agree about the cleaning part. i just broke my cat record with a huge thirteen pounder and it took half an hour, literally, to clean. But it was all worth it in the end. nice four pound fillets. The best cat I've ever tasted in my life.

sHoRe_fAnAtIc
10-06-2008, 06:58 AM
I only take home channels and whites when I feel like keeping them... Most of the time they go back into the drink...

FishFiend916
10-06-2008, 10:04 PM
I usually keep one fish in the two pound range for eating and release evrything else.

knotgillty
10-07-2008, 10:09 AM
I'm in favor of selective harvest which means keeping the more numerous smaller fish and releasing the big ones to breed another day.

I voted for 'only take home small ones; I let big ones go'. With that said, I've released every single catfish over the last two years.

riverboi
10-07-2008, 11:25 AM
I've never taken home a cat yet... I don't plan to unless it floats when it goes back in the water. But those things are tough.. me and longshot had one around 10 lb last week thats swallowed the hook and we thought for sure wouldn't recover. But put him in the water on a rope and hour later he was tugging the boat around.

Diego916
10-09-2008, 09:58 AM
I'm in favor of selective harvest which means keeping the more numerous smaller fish and releasing the big ones to breed another day.

Here's why I agree 100% with you:

1. Taking smaller fish keeps the population under control. This means more food and habitat for individual fish. More food and habitat then result in healthier fish that grow faster and are more resistant to disease.

2. Releasing larger fish ensures that we do not, as anglers, accidentally create a population of fish where genetically smaller individuals are more likely to survive.

3. Releasing larger fish ensures that the strongest spawners are in place to support the population. It also ensures that the healthiest, most adapted, and disease resistant individuals are reproducing. Sick, poorly adapted fish do not grow quickly or attain large size.

4. Smaller fish are safer to eat, especially for children. The flesh of a smaller fish will have less toxins per ounce of meat than a larger fish. Smaller fish taste better, too.

Thanks everyone for voting. Keep them coming!

knotgillty
10-09-2008, 10:41 AM
Well said Diego.

The biggest catfish in any body of water are also the biggest spawners. *In addition, the biggest catfish in a body of water also are likely to have the best genetics (fast growing / long living / resistent to disease). *By releasing the biggest fish in a lake, you are ensuring that they will continue to spawn, which in turn, guarantees that they are passing off their good genetics to future generations of fish. *Not all fish are created equal, meaning that some cats just don't have the potential to reach enormous proportions no matter how much they eat or how long they live.

To look at it another way, if the NBA was a pond & I caught Shaq O'neil on a big ol' hunk of bait, I'd take a pic & throw him back into the water. Why? Because I know that his offspring will have a better chance of being big 7 footers than say, the kids of Mugsy Bogues or Spud Web. *I don't care who Gary Coleman or Vern Troyer spawn with, they ain't gonna create a 7 foot child. *If I want to continue catching big 7 footers in the future, I need to release the ones I do catch. *

Keep the more numerous smaller fish for the table. *Photo / release the big ones. *It's called Selective Harvest :)

riverboi
10-09-2008, 12:12 PM
I was recently talking about the selective harvest with longshot. I have access to these vineyard ponds and there is a small one with big bass and another BIIIG pond with small bass all the same size but you can catch 30+ in a short time. Longshot said too many fish in the same area, need to do a selective harvest so some big ones will start standing out.

I've always released all catfish, never even eaten catfish in my life but Diego's and knotgillty's post may convince me to aid in the selective harvest. Some good points were made.

PS. Thanks for images of Gary Coleman implanted into my mind.

BIG_ONE
10-09-2008, 06:42 PM
talk about catch&release, i was thinking for a while...

if we let go of the big one to spawn, and keep the teenie ones for eating...either way, it effects the population...

here's why...you keep the small one, when the big one dies. which cat is going to spawn next when all the big one dies and the small ones can't reach maturity to spawn since they are all packed up in your freezer?

if we keep the big ones, then the small guys get a chance to grow and spawn and while their momma and papa is gone into our freezer, and later when the small guys become parents, we start keeping them and let the little guys grow into parents again???

unless this whole releasing the big guys thing try to make the momma and papa into record breaking so you can get a title ;D ;D ;D or did i get it wrong??? *;D

knotgillty
10-09-2008, 09:31 PM
Please do not change font color and size for the body of your posts. Imagine if everyone did this. It would be impossible to read.

Thanks,

MM

I hope I can provide some additional insight on this topic



if we let go of the big one to spawn, and keep the teenie ones for eating...either way, it effects the population...

here's why...you keep the small one, when the big one dies. which cat is going to spawn next when all the big one dies and the small ones can't reach maturity to spawn since they are all packed up in your freezer?Big_One, I like your enthusiasm on the boards and your willingness to provide good insight in a lot of your posts. *You've made some positive contributions and it's people like you that help to keep these boards alive. *But on this issue, you are mistaken. *You are assuming that there are only big fish that spawn, and little tiny fish that don't, with nothing in between. *In reality, there are fish throughout the range of sizes that are able to spawn. *Female channel cats spawn only once a year, producing about 3,000 to 4,000 eggs per pound of body weight, while the males sometimes can spawn more than once each year. *The bigger the female, the more babies it produces. *Channel catfish usually become sexually mature at 3 years of age. *

Channel catfish can reach 1 pound in size once they are 2 to 4 years old, depending on their environment. *For a body of water like Clear Lake, channel catfish grow much quicker. *In a lake like Folsom Lake, the channel catfish grow much slower. *It's all relative to the quantity of baitfish and good underwater habitat. *I know of no other lake on the west coast that has such a huge biomass of baitfish as Clear Lake. *There is so much bait that the channel cats never have to work very hard, or go very far, for an easy meal. *This actually extends the growing season as Mr. Whiskers is able to keep a full belly all year long. *A lake like Folsom lake on the other hand does not have as much bait to sustain fast growth rates. *Folsom lake also gets drawn down to low low levels of water each year. *This forces bottom dwelling fish such as catfish to constantly move as the water levels recede, forcing them to seek out new places to live and eat. *A catfish that can stay in the same general area all year, and can find easy meals, will expend less energy and grow quicker. *Catfish that are on the run, and are always forced to find a new home, and find new food sources, will typically grow at a slower rate. * *

With traditional rod and reel catch methods, it is nearly impossible to remove all the small channel catfish from a lake. *The numbers of small fish are just too vast. Keeping the smaller fish for the table thins the herd and in the long run, actually results in a healthier fishery. *Yes, big trophy fish eventually die of old age. *But even in their death we are fortunate because these old fish have created generation after generation of offspring. *An older fish usually produces babies with good genetics (healthy, aggressive, and good immunity to disease). *



if we keep the big ones, then the small guys get a chance to grow and spawn and while their momma and papa is gone into our freezer, and later when the small guys become parents, we start keeping them and let the little guys grow into parents again???? All things being equal, your insight might have merit Big_One. *But unfortunately, all things are not equal. *It's been scientifically proven that having an overabundance of smaller fish in any body of water actually stunts the overall growth rates of these smaller fish because of several factors including the competition for food. *A large population of smaller fish are all seeking baitfish & food of the same size size range. *Larger fish on the other hand are able to eat a variety of baits and other gamefish. *A 20 pound cat can easily munch down a fat crappie or bluegill, while the smaller channel cats can not.

The ratio of big trophy fish compared to little fish is nowhere near the same. *For every trophy fish within any lake, say for instance, a 15+ pound channel catfish, there are hundreds (probably thousands) of smaller channel catfish. *Big fish have overcome long odds to reach their large sizes (drought, disease, being eaten by a predator, getting wounded, getting caught, etc.). *For anyone wondering, the maximum age ever recorded for channel catfish is somewhere around 40 years old.


unless this whole releasing the big guys thing try to make the momma and papa into record breaking so you can get a title *;D ;D ;D or did i get it wrong??? *;D The concept behind letting trophy fish go has nothing to do with bragging rights (to catch it again and get a title or record). *The idea behind letting the big guys go is because they have enormous spawning potential, not only for the number of offspring they can produce, but because the offspring from these trophy fish are more likely to have a good genetic makeup. *Big fish don't reach trophy proportions because they are lazy, unagressive, and prone to illness. *It's important for the big fish to pass along their good genes to future generations of fish. *One of the best ways to ensure future generations of healthy fish is to make sure the biggest fish in the system continue to spawn. *
*

knotgillty
10-10-2008, 06:03 AM
Please do not change font color and size for the body of your posts. Imagine if everyone did this. It would be impossible to read.

Thanks,

MM
Sorry about that MM. *Not trying to cause any challenges. *If there is some kind of board policy that discourages changing font color and size, I apologize. *

I must admit however that your comments puzzle me. *If these posting options are undesirable, maybe the staff should reconsider why the font color and size options are available in the first place. *Give a man some water, and well, he'll be encouraged to take a drink. . . .

Again, no harm intended.

I guess I'm not totally clear as to when someone should use font sizes and color changes on this board? *I'd like to be clear on the matter. *Thanks for your insight MM.

Tight lines. . .

PS Big_One, maybe we can go catch some fish together sometime

riverboi
10-10-2008, 09:25 AM
Recently read about a guy taking two 15+ out of my favorite fishing spot *>:( Wish there was something we could do to prevent that... shame that its pointless to try to educate meat hunters/freezer packers since they just dont care.

BIG_ONE
10-10-2008, 03:19 PM
Please do not change font color and size for the body of your posts. Imagine if everyone did this. It would be impossible to read.

Thanks,

MM

I hope I can provide some additional insight on this topic



if we let go of the big one to spawn, and keep the teenie ones for eating...either way, it effects the population...

here's why...you keep the small one, when the big one dies. which cat is going to spawn next when all the big one dies and the small ones can't reach maturity to spawn since they are all packed up in your freezer?Big_One, I like your enthusiasm on the boards and your willingness to provide good insight in a lot of your posts. *You've made some positive contributions and it's people like you that help to keep these boards alive. *But on this issue, you are mistaken. *You are assuming that there are only big fish that spawn, and little tiny fish that don't, with nothing in between. *In reality, there are fish throughout the range of sizes that are able to spawn. *Female channel cats spawn only once a year, producing about 3,000 to 4,000 eggs per pound of body weight, while the males sometimes can spawn more than once each year. *The bigger the female, the more babies it produces. *Channel catfish usually become sexually mature at 3 years of age. *

Channel catfish can reach 1 pound in size once they are 2 to 4 years old, depending on their environment. *For a body of water like Clear Lake, channel catfish grow much quicker. *In a lake like Folsom Lake, the channel catfish grow much slower. *It's all relative to the quantity of baitfish and good underwater habitat. *I know of no other lake on the west coast that has such a huge biomass of baitfish as Clear Lake. *There is so much bait that the channel cats never have to work very hard, or go very far, for an easy meal. *This actually extends the growing season as Mr. Whiskers is able to keep a full belly all year long. *A lake like Folsom lake on the other hand does not have as much bait to sustain fast growth rates. *Folsom lake also gets drawn down to low low levels of water each year. *This forces bottom dwelling fish such as catfish to constantly move as the water levels recede, forcing them to seek out new places to live and eat. *A catfish that can stay in the same general area all year, and can find easy meals, will expend less energy and grow quicker. *Catfish that are on the run, and are always forced to find a new home, and find new food sources, will typically grow at a slower rate. * *

With traditional rod and reel catch methods, it is nearly impossible to remove all the small channel catfish from a lake. *The numbers of small fish are just too vast. Keeping the smaller fish for the table thins the herd and in the long run, actually results in a healthier fishery. *Yes, big trophy fish eventually die of old age. *But even in their death we are fortunate because these old fish have created generation after generation of offspring. *An older fish usually produces babies with good genetics (healthy, aggressive, and good immunity to disease). *



if we keep the big ones, then the small guys get a chance to grow and spawn and while their momma and papa is gone into our freezer, and later when the small guys become parents, we start keeping them and let the little guys grow into parents again???? All things being equal, your insight might have merit Big_One. *But unfortunately, all things are not equal. *It's been scientifically proven that having an overabundance of smaller fish in any body of water actually stunts the overall growth rates of these smaller fish because of several factors including the competition for food. *A large population of smaller fish are all seeking baitfish & food of the same size size range. *Larger fish on the other hand are able to eat a variety of baits and other gamefish. *A 20 pound cat can easily munch down a fat crappie or bluegill, while the smaller channel cats can not.

The ratio of big trophy fish compared to little fish is nowhere near the same. *For every trophy fish within any lake, say for instance, a 15+ pound channel catfish, there are hundreds (probably thousands) of smaller channel catfish. *Big fish have overcome long odds to reach their large sizes (drought, disease, being eaten by a predator, getting wounded, getting caught, etc.). *For anyone wondering, the maximum age ever recorded for channel catfish is somewhere around 40 years old.


unless this whole releasing the big guys thing try to make the momma and papa into record breaking so you can get a title *;D ;D ;D or did i get it wrong??? *;D The concept behind letting trophy fish go has nothing to do with bragging rights (to catch it again and get a title or record). *The idea behind letting the big guys go is because they have enormous spawning potential, not only for the number of offspring they can produce, but because the offspring from these trophy fish are more likely to have a good genetic makeup. *Big fish don't reach trophy proportions because they are lazy, unagressive, and prone to illness. *It's important for the big fish to pass along their good genes to future generations of fish. *One of the best ways to ensure future generations of healthy fish is to make sure the biggest fish in the system continue to spawn. *
*




oh! i see now, thats great! ;D

and once again, eat or release...your choice. although i do find the big ones taste the same as the little guys if you get rid of the brown/reddish stuff ;)

Diego916
10-11-2008, 11:59 AM
Wow Knot, very well said! You really know your stuff.

I'd add that larger cats produce BIGGER babies and are better able to protect those babies and eggs from potential predators. Male cats stay with the eggs and young after the spawn to protect them. Obviously a 25 pound channel is going to be a better protector than a 3 pound channel.

Also, even though you may think the meat of a big cat tastes okay, keep in mind the decades of mercury and other toxins you are munching on when you eat one. Mmmm... *:P

Part of the problem with educating people about selective harvest is that many still believe it is best to "throw the little ones back" so they can "grow up and get big one day." One thing is certain, if people keep taking the bigger fish, we won't have any left. It takes 20 years for a channel to reach trophy size under ideal conditions. Is it really worth taking one home?

Another problem is that people think, "If I let this big fish go, someone else is just going to come along and keep it anyway, so why shouldn't I have it? I caught it first..." While someone may indeed come along one day and take that fish, in the meantime it is spawning and contributing it's genetics to the population. And do we really know someone is going to come along and keep it? No, that's just speculation. If I catch it, it is going back even if I have to, god forbid, cut off that 10 cent hook to prevent injuring it by ripping out the hook.

According to this poll, just over half who have voted feel the same way :D

nickjew1
10-11-2008, 02:16 PM
I sometimes keep a large cat, up to 4 pounds, but if its a female, i'll throw it back. I feel bad whenever i clean a fish to find eggs in her. Males have a broad head, and femals have a more narrow head. That's why i love to catch stocked catfish. they're all around 3-7 pound keepers!

Diego916
10-12-2008, 11:10 AM
Keeping stocked catfish is a great idea. They are usually fed a diet that improves the quality of the taste of the flesh, and you are pretty much gauranteed safe eating!