Relations among Angler Use, Harvest, and Stocking Rates of Channel Catfish in Missouri Impoundments

We examined relations among creel statistics and stocking rates of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) in small impoundments. Angling effort directed toward catfish varied from 2 to 790 hours ha−1 and made up between 1% and 62% of the total angling effort. Anglers harvested nearly all of the channel catfish they caught in most impoundments. Harvest of channel catfish varied from 0.4 to 126 fish ha−1 and 0.3 to 74 kg ha−1 and was more closely associated with catfish angling effort than with stocking rate. Harvest rate declined asymptotically with increasing catfish angling effort. Catfish angling effort slightly increased and mean size of harvested channel catfish slightly decreased with increasing stocking rate. Stocking rate had a small influence on creel statistics compared to angling effort. Key words: channel catfish, creel, angler use, stocking

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