Age, Growth, and Maturity of Channel Catfish in Two Southeast Louisiana Lakes

Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) were sampled in 2 southeast Louisiana lakes for 3 years to determine if these populations were stunted based on age structure, growth rate, and length at maturity. Mean total length at age II for Lake Maurepas and Lac Des Allemands catfish were 262 mm and 256 mm, respectively, which compared favorably to other commercially fished populations in other areas in the lower Mississippi drainage. Channel catfish in Lake Maurepas exhibited a reduced length and age at maturity when compared to other areas. These characteristics may be due to physicochemical characteristics of the lake, an abundance of forage, or overfishing, which could select for early maturity as a survival mechanism.

Starting page
Ending page