Flathead Catfish Diet Analysis, Stock Assessment, and Effects of Removal on Sutton Lake, North Carolina

The purpose of this study was to assess the abundance, size composition, and food habits of the flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) poopulation in Sutton Lake near Wilmington, North Carolina, and to determine if the flathead catfish population could be diminished by repeated electrofishing over several months. Flathead catfish were collected monthly from June through October 1999 and removed using 2 boat-mounted electrofishing units. A total of 255 flathead catfish weighing 1,550 kg were collected. Individuals >600 mm total length dominated the catch. Fish accounted for 92% of the food items found in the stomachs of flathead catfish collected. During the 5-month sampling period, the number of fish collected each month never declined and no significant changes in size distribution was observed.

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