Weight-length Relationships and Growth Data for Blue Catfish from Four Tennessee Waterbodies

The blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) is an important sport and commercial species in Tennessee for which state-specific biological data are lacking. We report weight-length relationships and age and growth data for blue catfish (n = 773) collected from three exploited and one unexploited Tennessee waterbodies: Lake Barkley, Kentucky Lake, and the Mississippi River, and Fort Loudoun Reservoir. There were significant differences between blue catfish weight-length relationships between waterbodies. Catfish age ranged from age 0 to 34 and length at age estimates were significantly different among some, but not all studied waterbodies. Recommendations are provided regarding research necessary to fill blue catfish data gaps that hinder management of this widespread and economically important species.

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