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I just stocked my pond with channel catfish. Now I need to start learning about what it takes to support their spawn. Can anyone tell me the best thing to use for their spawn? And how many. For example, I stocked 100 and assuming they are 50/50 male and female, do I need to provide 50 spawning facilities such as pipes, etc.? Or will more than one pair use the same spawning space?


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Channel catfish needs "holes" such as round pipes, tractor tires, or banks where they can create these holes themselves. They like cavities to spawn in.

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Try sinking some inexpensive metal garbage cans in various locations. I would not worry about trying to get one per pair, just locate them in a variety of areas where they hopefully will find and utilize them.


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Metal garbage can will break down over time.. Weighted plastic or PVC pipe seem to work good..


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

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What size and length of pipe would you recommend??

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I've put in several pieces of 8-inch PVC pipe that are each about 6-foot long. One of them is fairly close to shore and covered with brush. For the last couple of years I've seen a big catfish, with not much more than its whiskers and nose sticking out of one end. I've had some recruitment, but as far as I can tell, it has been very minimal. Possibly I never saw the fry and they were eaten by the bass before anything happened. However, every once in a while, I'm surprised by a catfish, or two, that could not have been stocked, based on their size and my stocking schedule.



A number of years ago I believe that I accidentally got some white catfish that were apparently mixed in with channel cats that I was stocking. I've had some recruitment with them. Here is one that was obviously born in my pond due to its size. I've caught several others that were larger than this guy.



I've also tried 5-gallon buckets and some big plastic flower pots that looked like urns. Neither seemed to interest the catfish.


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I read somewhere that only one end of the pipe (or whatever cavity used) should be open. I have no idea if it makes much difference. Especially with bass and other predators present. Thanks for the info and pics Catmandoo!

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I dont know much about breeding captive catfish... Mixing a few wild of the same species, may up your odds.

Cow hoofprints in stock dams have seems to cause catfish, blues and channel, to spawn in some of the ponds I fish.

Sunken tires may work too.

I have heard of noodlers placing there own structure to know where to find big cats on rivers, like a fridge with no door.


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[quote=fishm_n]I dont know much about breeding captive catfish... Mixing a few wild of the same species, may up your odds.

Cow hoofprints in stock dams have seems to cause catfish, blues and channel, to spawn in some of the ponds I fish.

What???? Cow hoofprints???? Am I missing something here?? LOL

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Its like your own pond floor sculpture.

A stock pond that had a good mix of clay and cows that water in it.

They walk up to belly deep. Some of there hoofprints, colapse in on each other, but others are up to a foot and a half deep. and as they deteriate, they can get wider with out losing much depth. I have caught 3 lb bass hiding in them before too! that is not how I would decorate my own pond though.

I saw this pond before it filled, and no structure, and read the stocking report of mature blue cats, along with bass and perch, GSH, BG. Then the next summer, I caught a 3 inch blue and saw a couple hundred swimming around. They are so much more beautiful than a bull head!! Nothing but muscel.

So ya you did miss a unque fishing trip, and a few years later a couple guys caught some 30 pound cats out of there.


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What I did in mine was take a dozen or so 30-40 gallon plastic barrels - cut a 12" hole in one end, set a sandbag inside the barrel (laying on it's side) for ballast, puched a few holes in the 'top' and set them out on the ice. They all sank fairly well during spring thaw.

What I've read is that you want CC spawning structure between 3-6 feet of water - so I varied mine in that range.

Now with that being said I haven't seen any CC fry yet and that's coming up on 3 years ago...either it didn't work, the bass are demolishing the CC fry, or I just haven't been trying hard enough - any of the 3 could be true.


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When I had CC I put in galvanized trash cans and placed rocks just inside the opening up about 1/3 high.


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When I thought I wanted CC reproduction in my pond, it was said to place the spawning structure so the open end faced deeper water.


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what time of the year do CC spawn?


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Early summer here in Illinois


I believe in catch and release. I catch then release to the grease..

BG. CSBG. LMB. HSB. RES.

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This is What I did in my pond that worked well. I bought eight food grade barrels that tapered at the end and filled them with large river rock(100lbs) and some very large stones. I drilled multiple holes at the top so that the air would escape. I was able to float the heavy barrels out into 4 ft of water and submerge them that way( open end facing the pond). I tried filling them with a 100 lb of pea gravel in an earlier experiment but something kept on knocking the gravel out which made them float. I measured 4 ft on my body to know how far to walk out to submerg the barrels.I also used a 2 wheel moving dolly and a piece of plywood to get the heavy barrel into the water. Oh wooden boxes would probably be easier but it was more costly. I bought the used food grade barrels off if craigs list $5 each. I hope this helps someone, enjoy!

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How is it that bullheads seem to survive LMB but CC and BC can’t or don’t?

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Or better question, why did we get a bump on a thread from 2013? Lol.


"In the age of information, ignorance is a choice." - Donny Miller
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Some folks are reading old threads and respond

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Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
Some folks are reading old threads and respond

Oh I know, but they probably don't think to look at the date on the last post.


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I got CC to spawn successfully in an old ruined 100 gallon water trough, placed upside down ion the mud bottom with an access hole cut in one end.


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Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
How is it that bullheads seem to survive LMB but CC and BC can’t or don’t?

Bullheads have a couple of advantages. They tend to have larger populations and so the number protected nests exceed the typical CC number of nests under protection. Also they can spawn multiple times throughout the summer.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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That answers that! Seems like every time have a high water event the fry 2-3” go through the overflow culvert into overflow pond….. they go into a minnow trap and not sure what to do with them

Last edited by Pat Williamson; 09/28/21 08:03 AM.
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Originally Posted by Pat Williamson
Seems like every time have a high water event the fry 2-3” go through the overflow culvert into overflow pond….. they go into a minnow trap and not sure what to do with them

If you handle those 2 to 3 " BH do so with care ... with dip net for example. And they are bad to caught up in dip nets too. They are difficult to handle without getting stuck ... and dang its smarts. I'd much rather be nipped by BG than take a sting from a BH.


Common sense is not so common - Voltaire

It isn't what we don't know that gives us trouble, it's what we know that ain't so - Will Rogers


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In my muddy pond, which has very limited visibility, I have seen a bit of CC recruitment, even though there are bass in there. The pond was first stocked in early 2017, and fed. Otters devastated it in early 2018. The few large CC that survived have apparently spawned. The muddy water protects some of the fry from bass, I guess. Anyway, some small ones have shown up for feed.


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