Evaluation Of A Multi-Species Catfish Pond

This study was designed to compare the growth, mortality, and catchability of three species of catfish, blue catfish (lctalurus furcatus), channel catfish (I. punctatus), and white catfish (I. catus), in an artificially fed fishing pond. After stocking in October, 1968, the pond was fished a total of 35 days in two years (1970 and 1971). All remaining fish were then removed. The pond was "contaminated" primarily by brown bullheads and bluegills, with bullheads accounting for 648 pounds of the 2320 pounds per acre removed at the end of the study. Although 90 pounds of bluegill per acre were harvested during the 1971 fishing season, only 62 pounds per acre were present during eradication. Catch rates of all three catfish species were low throughout most of the study. Catch rates of blue catfish and white catfish were lower than channel catfish. "Natural" mortality of blue catfish was less than channel or white catfish. Weight attained by white catfish after four years of growth was considerably lower than either blue or channel catfish. Very few young-of-the-year of any species were found during removal operations.

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