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It's just a little sad that they had to kill it especially since it didn't replace the rod and reel record of 83 lbs that was set in 07. A fish that big has the best genetics in the river. I'm guessing that it is now dead, what are they going to do with it? I'm guessing they are going to eat it. What a waste.:mad:
 

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It's just a little sad that they had to kill it especially since it didn't replace the rod and reel record of 83 lbs that was set in 07. A fish that big has the best genetics in the river. I'm guessing that it is now dead, what are they going to do with it? I'm guessing they are going to eat it. What a waste.:mad:
Flatheads are a non-native/invasive fish in those parts and fisherman are asked/encouraged to never release flatheads caught down there. As much as some of us love to catch them, they can be detrimental to the ecosystem when introduced to a new fishery.
 

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magis is right.flatheads have been on the "hit list" for years in some waters in that part of the country because they are not native,having been introduced from outsie sources.they apparently compete with and feed on more popular native species,doing more harm than good in some cases.
as for the best genetics,that can be argued because a fish of that size could be very old and like other species,will not contribute as much as younger,healthier fish.
it is possible however,that a similar size fish in this state would be older due to shorter growing seasons.but those gentics,if that were the case,would be all the more reason to remove those fish from the system.
 

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Some studies do suggest that flatheads reach an equilibrium in relation to the amount of food available in the ecosystem. There was an article and study done in the 2008 issue of In-Fisherman about this very topic, "The good and evil sides of flatheads." Flatheads will eat many different organisms to sustain itself, the majority of their diet is comprised of gizzard shad (like 60%). The next in line is suckers, bullheads, and sunfish tied, then comes whatever else swims. If you look at any ecosystem on the planet the apical predator in a food chain is limited in numbers by one factor:the amount of food available. If you get too many flatheads in a system, food numbers will dwindle and the population of flatheads will thin out the weak and reach an equilibrium and the prey populations will bounce back naturally. But this process can take a varying amount of time to achieve (that's the kicker). There is one factor here that has caused this problem and many others and that is the HUMAN factor. That is why flatheads are considered invasive in parts of: Northern Florida, Georgia, The Great lakes region, parts of the Carolinas, the Colorado river, Rio Grande river, and many more locations.

My point here is not one of favoritism. I do like catching flatheads a great deal, and they are very tenacious. That flathead pictured was probably between 20-30 years old depending on a variety of variables. This fish was very special and probably only one out of a very few caught this year. How many 100 + lbers have we seen caught this year at any location in the country?

It just seems like sometimes some anglers prefer one fish species over another and what ever is pestering their favorite species they want to exterminate it. This applies for many other species besides the flathead.

I'm not against taking flatheads out of a system like the ones mentioned (especially if the populations haven't stabilized yet) in the article. But even if people are taking out a ton of fish, it will not make a major difference since the flatheads are established well. I just think that maybe there should be slot limits for these fish so that there is a chance of bringing back some of the monsters from old. These fish have a potential to get very big (flatheads and blues). There were reports of guys catching fish up to and past 250 pounds on rivers like the Missouri and Mississippi in the early 1800s. Now in modern times the record is 124 lbs for a blue and 123 for a flathead. Overfishing and damming up rivers have caused these goliaths to disappear temporarily. I would love to see in my life time a catfish caught that would be over 150 lbs. I don't think that is so far fetched for a young biology teacher.

I'm sorry to go off on a tangent, but big fish like the one mentioned in the article should be studied,have their genetics analyzed, and released back into the water with a transmitter to study its habits. The key in maintaining any good fishery is education and knowing everything you can about all the fish in a system, that means the ones that you like and the ones you dislike.;)
 

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I always love the argument of NOT to remove an extremely large fish due to its superior genetics.

That fish has spawned for how many years now and its genes have not changed. Those same genes were being spread by it when it first spawned at whatever size flatheads spawn at.

The reproductive capability of a fish at the end of its life is limited anyway. Just the same as a 70 yr old human.
 

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the reason they want to remove those fish is the dominant prey.............sunfish.sunfish,especially shellcrackers,i believe,are a avorite of both humans and flatheads in many areas there.the thought is if flatheads are allowed to go unchecked,they will overpopulate and with sunfish being the main prey,negatively impact that species.
as for the age of that fish,that is questionable.most studies that i've read show the life expectancy for flatheads to be somewhere around 20 years or so.people talk about them living 40 to 50 or even 100 years,but there is absolutely no evidence to support those claims.
 

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How many 100+ pound flatheads have ever been studied? I'm curious to see exactly how old this fish was by looking at either the vertebrae or the otoliths for growth rings. What if the fish wasn't that old, and had not reached it's maximum size and age? Fish like this don't come around this often. A fish this big would be just a little bit smaller then Dotty if we were talking in Bass terms Dotty being that monster fish that was estimated to be 25lbs when foul hooked from a lake in California. What if people were catching and keeping record size bass, I mean 20+lbs using a jug line and keeping them to eat (even if they were invasive)? Largemouth bass are considered an invasive species in Japan and that is where the recent record was caught.......
 

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How many 100+ pound flatheads have ever been studied?
i have no idea,but i'm sure the studies that have been done,are most likely more credible than the guesstimates of the average fisherman/amateur biologist.
another consideration is that different species are regarded differently in different geographical areas.in the other parts of the south,flatheads are very popular as table fare and c&r takes a back seat,and their numbers don't suffer in the least.
not sure how bass entered the discussion,but personally i'm not losing much sleep worrying about people eating big bass;)
 

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You missed my point completely. I meant no ill will toward anyone in this discussion, and have never posted anything negative on this website nor criticized anyone. I'm actually sorry I even responded to this post. Well it's getting late and this average fisherman/ amateur biologist has got to get some sleep. By my amateur guesstimations someone here is trolling. Oh and one more thing, who says I'm an amateur at fishing or biology?
 

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...that i've read show the life expectancy for flatheads to be somewhere around 20 years or so.people talk about them living 40 to 50 or even 100 years,but there is absolutely no evidence to support those claims.
It's improbable, not impossible. There is also absolutely no evidence to refute those claims either. We just aren't 100% certain when it comes to a lot of things. ;)

How much would a 100 lb flathead have to eat in 20 years to get that big? I'm sure that number is mind-boggling! I'm neither disagreeing nor agreeing, that's just one of those things you got to see to believe ya know? I know it's apples to oranges but on a semi-related note, my little brother is only 13 and he's 6'2 and 250 lbs so maybe it's not so crazy after all LOL.
 

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It's improbable, not impossible. There is also absolutely no evidence to refute those claims either. We just aren't 100% certain when it comes to a lot of things.
agreed.that's why i said there was no evidence.i believe the the reason it's really an unknown is because not enough research has been done.one thing i'm pretty sure of though,is northern fish would have a longer lifespan than southern fish.
 

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agreed.that's why i said there was no evidence.i believe the the reason it's really an unknown is because not enough research has been done.

That's all I was trying to say, there needs to be more research. A lot of people give some of these top of the line predators like flatheads and others (muskies) a bad name due to the notion that they are eating all of the other game fish which is for the most part not true. I say let the science and concrete evidence do the talking. A fish this large doesn't come around that often, if you don't believe me, look it up.
 
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