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#477989 - 08/11/17 09:52 AM old catfish populations
lovetohunt Offline


Registered: 08/10/17
Posts: 4
Loc: myrtle ms
I have about a 2.5 acre lake at my house that is probably 50+ years old but I had it redone about 15yrs ago (it was never completely dry though).
I have a tone of little bass (too many) and big bluegill but have never tried to catch a catfish until last weekend. I took my daughter and her friend and we fished about an hour.
her friend caught 2 cat. (im not good and what kind of cat but I think channel) both were in the 10lb range. I was blown away, but we didn't get another bite.
I was told that if the fish have just been in there for 15 or more years that the population could be dying out and I may be left with just a few big cat that don't produce anymore.
could that be the case???
doesn't sound right, if that's the case how has the species sustained itself with out mans help. looks like as long as the pond is some what healthy the population would remain. but what do I know.
anybody got any feed back on this?
thanks for the help.

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#477994 - 08/11/17 10:25 AM Re: old catfish populations [Re: lovetohunt]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23822
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
What is the history of stocking fish in the pond? Catfish are cavity spawners, so if there isn't the correct spawning habitat for them, they won't reproduce.

What are your goals for the pond?
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#478001 - 08/11/17 10:42 AM Re: old catfish populations [Re: lovetohunt]
Centrarchid Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 11/26/09
Posts: 93
Loc: .
If bass (assumed you mean Largemouth Bass) present in high numbers, then it is likely Channel Catfish recruitment is being blocked by depredation by bass on the Channel Catfish fry once they leave nest and fingerlings once the leave the father's care. The smaller 4" to 10" bass have little trouble rushing in to snatch fry even with male catfish trying to defend the schooling brood. The surviving fingerlings, if any, would then be running a gauntlet of bass that have to be only half again as long to eat the catfish fingerlings. The Channel Cat's are not good at using cover.

You could restore recruitment, assuming breeders have not aged out, by culling the Largemouth Bass hard. The larger Bluegill can eat catfish fry as well but I doubt they will actually fill up on them like bass are inclined to do.

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#478010 - 08/11/17 11:48 AM Re: old catfish populations [Re: Centrarchid]
snrub Offline


Registered: 10/05/13
Posts: 3998
Loc: SE Kansas
I think the reason I am getting recruitment of CC in my pond is that the LMB have not done that well. I have a few 4-6# LMB but almost never catch any small LMB even while fishing a lot for BG.

So I think my lack of LMB recruitment and low numbers of smaller LMB are the conditions that are allowing some of my CC recruitment to survive.

I think this fall I am going to introduce some fingerling LMB into my sediment pond (where there are currently no predators - used as forage production), grow them to a foot of so length, catch them and transfer to the main pond to supplement my main pond with LMB
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#478021 - 08/11/17 03:09 PM Re: old catfish populations [Re: lovetohunt]
lovetohunt Offline


Registered: 08/10/17
Posts: 4
Loc: myrtle ms
the pond has not been stocked at all since I have owned it and renovated it 15 yrs ago. whatever fish are there were just put there by mother nature or were there before I renovated it. (like I said it was never completely dry)
I would love to have better fish in the pond. if I had to chose i'd rather have bigger largemouth bass as I have another 1.5 acre lake I just had renovated and plan to stock with channel cat.
I have been told the bass are over populated so I am trying to get as many as I can out buy fishing and having anyone else that fish to keep their catch but I've been doing this for 2 yrs and haven't seen a big change. (probably 75 fish a yr get taken out for the last two yrs)
as far as the 2 big cats that were caught I guess I just need to go fishing again and if I see different sizes and age group then that answers my original question.

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#478036 - 08/11/17 06:28 PM Re: old catfish populations [Re: lovetohunt]
esshup Offline
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Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 23822
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
Pushing the reset button and applying Rotenone, then getting a good restocking plan is what I'd recommend to do to get the fastest results.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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