Pond Boss

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Omnivore. Readily eats just about any animal matter available including zooplankton, mollusks, small fish and will eat pellets when available.
Cody Note - The YBH in the above picture were raised in a cage from 3"-4" fingerlings.

High fecundity, however is subject to predation in clear waters, therefore will not be a prominent player when largemouth bass can see well enough to prey on yellow bullheads.

Can reach sizes of over one pound.

Good palatability, especially younger fish from clean waters. Cody has harvested larger YBH in mid summer from a low water mud bottom pond and surprisingly the flavor of the fillets was very good so good palatability does not necessarily have to come from clear water. Note those YBH were likely growing from eating lots of fish pellets. Unpolluted water is probably more important for their palatability than them coming from clear water. Clean water and clear water can be significantly different qualities.

Brown Bullhead (BnBH) FishBase http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3022

Black Bullhead (BkBH) FishBase http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=291

Yellow Bullhead 9YBH) FishBase http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3021


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Piscivorous, will sometimes scavenge, doesn�t readily take pellets.

Low fecundity

Can reach sizes in ponds of over 50 pounds.

Good palatability

http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=3019Blue Catfish (BC) FishBase

Cody Note- In my opinion the Osage blue catfish are very reasonably priced due to the rareness of the species and lack of availability - a good value:
*8 - 10 inch = $2.25each


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Omnivore, eats fish, will scavenge and loves pellets.

Low fecundity except in the presence of specific types of cavernous structure.

Can reach twenty pounds.

Good to excellent palatability.

http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=290 Channel Catfish (CC) FishBase

Interesting CC Threads
This wisdom from Catmandoo from the thread How Many Catfish?

I may not be a catfish expert, but I sure learned a lot about catfish in the last 15 years.

Several things I learned very early was that:

Channel catfish grow really fast. In just a few years, 4-5 inch channel cats can become 25-30 inch fish with minimal assistance from humans;

Channel catfish, especially those over 16-18 inches, become extremely hook shy. The larger they are, the longer their memory, and the more wary they are of eating things, and;

Once channel catfish get to about 16-18 inches, they become top-level predators. They begin to eat nearly anything and everything that swims or seems like food -- except for baits with a hook in them. They swarm during feeding time like big vacuum cleaners. The can consume large amounts of feed pellets in a very short time.

I typically put 10-20 4-5 inch channel cats into my two ponds (0.7 and 0.3 acres) in late spring or early summer after I can see what is in the ponds. Some years I don't put any in. We still have plenty for neighborhood fish frys and for ourselves.

Don't overstock unless you want lots of catfish to eat!
Channel catfish will reproduce in ponds. Survival of fry and young will depend on density of habitat and what other predators are in the pond. CC a pond mainly by themselves without bass will surely produce year classes of catfish. They can create cavities in the pond bank for spawnind.
See this link for info about hybrid blue catfish.
See this link about foods of flathead and blue catfish.

Link to discussion about flathead fish
There is some specialized interest in using the blue catfish as a unique large predator for special species combinations for smaller self contained water bodies. The standard PBoss acronym for blue catfish is BC.
Much more needs to be learned of how this species (BC) performs as a top line predator. Blues are known to forage higher up in the water column compared to other catfish species; sometimes near the surface in 60ft of water (see below later). Thus they could play a unique role as a large, big mouth, night time, open water predator. Are you adventuresome? Is the testing something you are willing to do in your small pond to help manage a special species fishery or control over abundant forage? Bring your experiences and results to your pond management forum. Be aware that the blue catfish can grow to some very large sizes. Growth is highly dependent on food availability. Natural reproduction in a pond could become, as with any fish species - a problem, so be prepared to drain and renovate the pond if the fishery becomes unbalanced. Once we know more about the value of a blue in a small pond, one blue per pond could be used similar to a tiger musky to help control an over abundant species. A large 28"+ BC might eat a good number of small LMB per year. Smaller more slender LMB would be easier to swallow whole and preferred forage compared to sunfish?

“While crossing the reservoir, he spotted a giant group of threadfin shad 55 feet down over 100 feet of water. Strangely, since most anglers think fish feed upward, blue cats were stationed above the shad at 40 feet.”
From https://www.in-fisherman.com/editorial/blue-catfish-fishing-methods/156175

Where to buy blue catfish.
Note - In my opinion the Osage blue catfish are very reasonably priced due to the rareness of the species and strong lack of availability - definitely a good value from Osage Fishery. I assume that all small hatchery blues (BC) are pellet trained fish. 5"-7" = $1.50ea, 8 - 10 inch = $2.25each. Larger ones may occasionally be available, contact Osage for details.
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