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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am Maryland's recreational representative on the Baywide Blue Catfish Action Team. We are a group headed by NOAA comprised of fishery managers, scientists, marine biologists, fish processors, commercial and recreational representatives. We are working on a solution to control the growing Blue catfish population before it further impacts our fishery. We meet online several times a year and yearly meetings at VCU. We have been working on this for many years as it is becoming a serious threat to our fishery.

What I would like is the location, date, time and weight of blue catfish caught in the bay. I have been fishing the Potomac River for blue cats for 20 years. I don't fish the bay for them and not looking for your "honey holes" This information would be beneficial to our group. I encourage the fishing of blue cats both recreational and commercial to control their spread. This info could be sent to me by email, [email protected] or here as a private message. Thank you and I hope to hear from you.......... Gary
Water Sky Cloud Vertebrate Boat
 

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The whole Bay is a honey hole now. No secret places They're every where from the Susquehanna river all the way down to Virginia tidal rivers where swam from and were stocked by Virginia DNR. I think the Blue Catfish Fast Action Recovery Team ( AKA -FART Squad) train has already left. You're too late. Should have said something 20years ago.
 

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The whole Bay is a honey hole now. No secret places They're every where . I think the Blue Catfish action team train has already left. You're too late. Should have said something 20years ago.
Nick, We have been working on this for many years. Its not any easy task or a quick solution.. I'm sorry you think it's too late but we are still working on a solution and appreciate all the help and info from fishermen....... Gary
 

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In April and May - decent bite at mouth of Severn / Hacketts and off Magothy near Podickery Point. The Blues went away in June - no idea where.

My concern is how much these Cats are eating.
 

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Nick, We have been working on this for many years. Its not any easy task or a quick solution.. I'm sorry you think it's too late but we are still working on a solution and appreciate all the help and info from fishermen....... Gary
They're here just like the carp are from the 1800s. Hardly anyone wants to clean or eat them just like carp . Unless yiu can market them them somewhere else there will be plenty to fish for everywhere . I have no desire to clean and eat one . I release them and am happy to catch them. They're better than nothing. All the other fish are over exploited and they are good sized hard fighting game fish when caught on .artificial lures and spinning tackle .
 

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In April and May - decent bite at mouth of Severn / Hacketts and off Magothy near Podickery Point. The Blues went away in June - no idea where.

My concern is how much these Cats are eating.
They all went up the Bay and in every river . That's about all I've been catching.
 

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Nick, We have been working on this for many years. Its not any easy task or a quick solution.. I'm sorry you think it's too late but we are still working on a solution and appreciate all the help and info from fishermen....... Gary
Gary . I sent you some Info. on baby blue catfish. I think I sent it right. Hope you get it.
 

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The Nanticoke is loaded with them too. The crabbing is still good and has been this year so I don't think crabs are their main forage . If there's no crabs next year I'm sure blue cats and snakeheads will be blamed for it. Not the millions of bushels all the crabbers harvested this year, or how many the Rockfish and other fish ate.
 

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Because they're not all bad. They want you to believe that so they have an excuse why there are no fish or crabs when they've been working so hard to fix it for 20 years. It's not there fault. .
 

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The Nanticoke is loaded with them too. The crabbing is still good and has been this year so I don't think crabs are their main forage . If there's no crabs next year I'm sure blue cats and snakeheads will be blamed for it. Not the millions of bushels all the crabbers harvested this year, or how many the Rockfish and other fish ate.
because rockfish are supposed to be here. Simple as that.

think we are over harvesting crabs? Do something about it. You could stop crabbing.
 

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That's what I'm taking about. People that don't make sense. There's lot of that going around today. If we went by that logic , most of the fish wouldn't be in our waters today . That includes tidal Bass . stop crabbing. That would really fix it. I harvest very little crabs compared to what's being taken and eaten out of the Bay. Man isn't supposed to be here taking everything out of the Bay in the such large quantities and polluting the water to the point that nothing but super hardy fish are the only ones left that can survive. If everyone only took took what crabs and fish I take , we'd have plenty of fish and crabs.
 

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Over harvesting and invasive species are different. All i’ve been reading on all fishing reports the whole summer is the lack of white perch.
 

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Does anyone think the reason there are no big white perch or yellow perch is because the catfish and snakeheads ate all the big ones and saved the little ones to eat later or that fishermen kept the big ones and let the little ones go ? There are a lot of bad invasives, Burmese Pythons in the Fla. Everglades and Asian carp in the Mississippi . They have become a menace. When I went to Maryland Naturalist school., even the teachers admitted that hydrilla and the non native millfoil were growing in places were native grasses no longer thrive and are advantageous for filtering the water and cover for fish species. If we kill all the catfish and snakeheads in the upper bay ,I don't think any thing will change except we wont have any more snakeheads or catfish. The native declining species were already declining long before the snakeheads and catfish showed up. I don't believe this will fix it. Many native species can't thrive here any more from heavy fishing pressure from more and more fishermen and more water pollution . These non native species are more tolerant of warm water ,low oxygen and polluted water than the original native species. That's why they're thriving and the native species are not.
 

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Gary, my younger son (11th grade) is in the Natural Resources Magnet Program in Harford County. He has a school project he is working on documenting blue cats in the lower Susquehanna and trying to compare fish size to what they are eating and if depth where they are located affects what they eat. We catch many there where you can feel all the clam/mussel shells in their bellies. The problem is he doesn't want to kill every single one to examine stomach contents because we aren't going to eat every single one and invasive or not I don't want to waste a creature. This month I started collecting info for him from my fishing. If you like I can send you the same info. below is a sample.

BLUE CATS 10-02-2021 SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BELOW CONOWINGO
Weight length girth
23.5lbs 35” 22.5”
10lbs 28.5” 17”
19lbs 32.5” 19”
24lbs 36” 23”
22lbs 36” 22”
10lbs 28” 17.5”
16.5lbs 34” 21”
 

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Gary, my younger son (11th grade) is in the Natural Resources Magnet Program in Harford County. He has a school project he is working on documenting blue cats in the lower Susquehanna and trying to compare fish size to what they are eating and if depth where they are located affects what they eat. We catch many there where you can feel all the clam/mussel shells in their bellies. The problem is he doesn't want to kill every single one to examine stomach contents because we aren't going to eat every single one and invasive or not I don't want to waste a creature. This month I started collecting info for him from my fishing.

BLUE CATS 10-02-2021 SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BELOW CONOWINGO
Weight length girth
23.5lbs 35” 22.5”
10lbs 28.5” 17”
19lbs 32.5” 19”
24lbs 36” 23”
22lbs 36” 22”
10lbs 28” 17.5”
16.5lbs 34” 21”
They eat the exact same thing the channel catfish have been eating for hundreds of years . They should do the same study on Channel Catfish too and compare what they are eating . Then decide whether they should kill both species because they don't like what they eat . Check Striped Bass too . Tell your son to ask why there aren't as many Striped Bass as there used to be ?
 

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They eat the exact same thing the channel catfish have been eating for hundreds of years .
Nick, you're probably right but I think the teacher's angle is to figure out what forage they might be putting extra pressure on. whether it's gizzard shad, clams, mussels, crayfish, or even white perch. The difficulty is the teacher doesn't fish so she doesn't get the concept of recreational C&R fishing. She thinks we all fish to catch dinner and harvest every legal fish we can. I think I need to put the kid in touch with a processor who gets these cats from the watermen and try to analyze stomach contents there.

As far as what they eat, I think they will eat anything that doesn't eat them first. They are an equal opportunity vacuum cleaner. I wish I remember where I read it but I read somewhere that they eat 5-9% of their body weight daily depending on time of year and how water temp affects their metabolism. As big as the flatheads get in the Susky I bet at least one cormorant has been eaten by a big flathead cat.
 

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Channel Catfish are just as voracious except there are a lot more of them and a bit smaller 5-10# . There are days when I catch them constantly while trying to catch Snakeheads .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Gary, my younger son (11th grade) is in the Natural Resources Magnet Program in Harford County. He has a school project he is working on documenting blue cats in the lower Susquehanna and trying to compare fish size to what they are eating and if depth where they are located affects what they eat. We catch many there where you can feel all the clam/mussel shells in their bellies. The problem is he doesn't want to kill every single one to examine stomach contents because we aren't going to eat every single one and invasive or not I don't want to waste a creature. This month I started collecting info for him from my fishing. If you like I can send you the same info. below is a sample.

BLUE CATS 10-02-2021 SUSQUEHANNA RIVER BELOW CONOWINGO
Weight length girth
23.5lbs 35” 22.5”
10lbs 28.5” 17”
19lbs 32.5” 19”
24lbs 36” 23”
22lbs 36” 22”
10lbs 28” 17.5”
16.5lbs 34” 21”
Chris, I am happy to hear your Son is in this program, taking an interest and making a difference in our fishery. Educating the youth is key to solving environmental problems. Thank you for this information and will gladly accept any additional. The only stomach contents I can recognize is small clams and mussles. We have DNA analysis to identify most of it. Their main diet is gizzard shad but do eat many other species. The flat head catfish are also very prevalent near Conowingo and are also growing in population and size. We have many educated and sharp people working in our group but we can use any data you can provide. This is not an easy fix. Please thank your Son for me..... Gary
 
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