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Author Topic: "Catfish Becoming Dominant Species in Lower Potomac"  (Read 1539 times)
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jack1747
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« on: May 10, 2019, 04:11:33 PM »

https://lexleader.net/catfish-becoming-dominant-species-in-lower-potomac/?fbclid=IwAR2p1-25vbPW3bjbzZvEVF4AHP9-UjVr-gu-z--2q0t2Qrg0Zc3aNvd1iug

"Pound netters have seen the catfish production slack off as they are moving up the creeks feasting on newly molted soft crabs. Commercial crabbers are not making expenses as of the first week of May. The only crabbers that are catching crabs are running down the Chesapeake about 60-80 miles."
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jack1747
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2019, 04:16:07 PM »

We started catching little ones about 2 years ago down here on the ESVA.  Last week I caught this one.  30 inches. 12lbs.  There goes the neighborhood.
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2019, 04:51:06 PM »

Those [dang] things were everywhere last year during the chumming season.
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« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2019, 05:37:43 PM »

we need more sharks
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LewCrab
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« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2019, 07:02:20 PM »

Them and the Snakeheads are becoming a real nuisance.
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evinrude 130
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« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2019, 07:12:00 PM »

Mentioned it last week in another post. Catfish and snakeheads will be the "go to fish"  for charters  if the rockfish get a moratorium next year or decline badly.

Some of those blue cats get pretty big. The popularity of snakeheads and cats is growing every year from what I hear. Anglers fishing report lately mentions both of them.   Snakeheads are good eating , not to sure about those huge blue cats . I would think a smaller cat would be good , safe eating. Those large cats may have been exposed to something, just like the 40" plus rockfish.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 08:39:19 PM by evinrude 130 » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2019, 09:50:04 AM »

I agree Evinrude. We'll  have to adapt to the changing salinitys and new dominant species in the Bay. I love Snakehead fishing. I go every week . I release them all where I catch them. I would rather catch and release them than eat them. They're too much fun to catch. I hope they make them a game fish with a 2 fish limit like striped bass. . They are very adaptable and provide good sport in waters where nothing except carp and catfish thrive. I'm sure they will help keep the catfish and carp numbers down. They can survive oxygen depleted water from algae blooms by breathing through their labyrinth gland by sucking atmospheric air above the surface as well as breathing through their gills. We've lost just about every other species in the Bay and now the DNR wants to kill them because they say they will take over. Take over what? Catfish and carp! Yesterday I was up in a tidal creek that is well known for Crappie & Yellow perch . There have been a few Snakeheads caught there the last few weeks. I found 10 Hoop nets in the creek. Did you know that Crappie are considered perch and they can be netted commercially with no size or bag limit ?
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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2019, 10:27:12 AM »

catch and release snakeheads? really? i thought they were to be killed no matter what because of being invasive,,,
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richie crabber
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« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2019, 10:57:40 AM »

Snake head has nice and firm white flaky meat. l cooked them for my patrons in restaurant and most people can't tell the difference between snake head to rock and white perch after its cooked. Most people  don't  want to eat them because its ugly fish if snake head was good looking like rocks we might have depleted  them already.
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« Reply #9 on: May 11, 2019, 10:59:11 AM »

catch and release snakeheads? really? i thought they were to be killed no matter what because of being invasive,,,
No. You can release them where you caught them  but not  move them to other waters. It is a class 1 misdemeanor ( up to  $5k fine and 1 year in jail ( Possible) if caught to transport live snakeheads . There's really no reason to move them because they are in every tidal river in Md. to some degree anyway. If people would stop trying to kill them    all we could eventually have a good game fish that would thrive without much regulation in our ever changing fresh water tidal rivers.
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Mr. Ray III
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2019, 11:08:07 AM »

Do you report catching them?
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« Reply #11 on: May 11, 2019, 11:15:51 AM »

Mentioned it last week in another post. Catfish and snakeheads will be the "go to fish"  for charters  if the rockfish get a moratorium next year or decline badly.

Some of those blue cats get pretty big. The popularity of snakeheads and cats is growing every year from what I hear. Anglers fishing report lately mentions both of them.   Snakeheads are good eating , not to sure about those huge blue cats . I would think a smaller cat would be good , safe eating. Those large cats may have been exposed to something, just like the 40" plus rockfish.
I will never charter catfish for any money but I might be wrong some people have more money than me but snake head is good sporting fish. I think any catfish under 3-4 pounds are good eating but I wouldn't feed my family anything over 10-12lbs.
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jack1747
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« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2019, 11:18:50 AM »

Got two more blue catfish this morning.. Around 3-4 lbs.  Guess they are here to stay.  Undecided
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"Helping to Moderate the BCA since 2003" "I've gotten to the point in my life where I no longer give a [shiz] what people think, I'm not going to take any [shiz], because, frankly my dears, I am NOT in the [shiz] business." Quote from Suzy. :-)
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« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2019, 11:33:29 AM »

the channel cats are great eating , cut it in to chunks , dredge it in milk , use ritz crakers  smashed up in a baggie ad some old bay , and deep fry it
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« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2019, 11:53:43 AM »

Got two more blue catfish this morning.. Around 3-4 lbs.  Guess they are here to stay.  Undecided
I've been catching as many Blues as Channels up in the Northern Bay lately. All on lures . All around 3-4 lbs.
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« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2019, 12:05:31 PM »

Do you report catching them?
Why? Is it the law to make catch reports on snakeheads ? The DNR knows they are in every river from the Susquehanna to the Potomac down to Point Lookout .
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Mr. Ray III
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« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2019, 01:05:54 PM »

Why? Is it the law to make catch reports on snakeheads ? The DNR knows they are in every river from the Susquehanna to the Potomac down to Point Lookout .

DNR wants you to report them.  Law or not, I'm not sure.
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« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2019, 01:24:40 PM »

DNR wants you to report them.  Law or not, I'm not sure.
I read that somewhere. There's no law that I'm aware of that requires any fish to be reported while recreationally fishing in Maryland .
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 01:36:37 PM by Neither Crab » Logged
evinrude 130
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2019, 02:43:19 PM »

I read a while ago there is a commercial interest in the  Blue Cats. Found this article from last year. So the "clients" will be eating bluefish provided by the correctional services.

"Maryland watermen have the means and ability to harvest blue catfish, but have been lacking a strong market for their catch. The Department of Agriculture’s seafood marketing program continues to make a concentrated effort to raise public awareness and promote the consumption of this flaky white fish. In addition to these efforts, the statewide purchasing program creates a steady, reliable market for blue catfish"    

If a moratorium on rockfish happens, there's always the blue catfish to fill the void.  Virginia is catching blue cats also.

https://www.fredericksburg.com/news/local/virginia-s-booming-wild-caught-blue-catfish-industry-may-weaken/article_1db9d50e-5926-5375-bffe-943425f0009d.html


State Announces Blue Catfish Purchasing Initiative
September 19, 2018
Program to Provide Quality Nutrition, Reduce Impact on Chesapeake Bay

Photo of blue catfish mealThe Maryland Department of General Services (DGS)—in partnership with the departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources—has awarded contracts to Jessup-based Reliant Fish Co. and Congressional Seafood Co. for a program that will create sales of Maryland-harvested blue catfish to state institutions providing food services. The program also helps the state reduce the blue catfish’s negative impact on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay ecosystems by creating a reliable market for the non-native species.

“This successful collaboration between our state agencies has provided state institutions with an additional protein option for their facilities,” said DGS Secretary Ellington E. Churchill, Jr. “The Department of General Services continues to be a conduit of achieving goods and services for the best interest of the state of Maryland.”

State institutions including correctional facilities, higher education institutions, hospitals, public schools, etc. will be able to purchase cases of blue catfish directly from Maryland Correctional Enterprises (MCE)—a program within the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DCPCS) that aims to provide structured employment and training to offenders in order to improve future employability and reduce recidivism.

“This is such a big win all around for our department,” said DPSCS Secretary Stephen Moyer. “Not only do we provide work for our inmates through our industry arm at MCE to distribute the fish but those in our custody get tasty food with the nutrition they need.”

In addition, the new statewide contract can be used by Maryland counties, municipal corporations, and public agencies to meet their food service needs. One case of blue catfish contains 40 pieces of four-ounce portions. This allows food service managers to provide their clients with a tasty, local protein option.

“This statewide purchasing program will allow us to curb population growth of this destructive species while building new, sustainable markets for our watermen,” said Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “The blue catfish is also an excellent source of protein, and we view this program as a win-win for the state.”

Maryland watermen have the means and ability to harvest blue catfish, but have been lacking a strong market for their catch. The Department of Agriculture’s seafood marketing program continues to make a concentrated effort to raise public awareness and promote the consumption of this flaky white fish. In addition to these efforts, the statewide purchasing program creates a steady, reliable market for blue catfish.

Photo of a blue catfish by Bryan Rosensteel
Blue Catfish courtesy of Bryan Rosensteel

“Invasive species like blue catfish threaten sensitive ecosystems and habitats by outcompeting established and native species,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “Any effort to mitigate or reduce their threat to our environment is a win, and that’s why we encourage anglers and watermen to capture and keep them. This program aims to do just that by establishing a regular and sustainable market for our uninvited and unwelcome guests.”

Blue catfish are native to the Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio river basins. The fish was introduced to Virginia waterways for sport purposes in the 1960s and has since spread throughout Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. Adult blue catfish feed on many native species including mussels, freshwater clams, perch, rockfish, and blue crabs—they have also proven to outcompete native species for available resources. This has had a significant impact on the ecosystem of our local waterways.
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2019, 03:11:23 PM »

Sounds like a plan. The inmates can eat all the PCB's  & mercury they want . Good way to do a  study on life expectancy from eating Blue Catfish from the Potomac River. Could be a savings to tax payers.
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