Channel Cat structure

Discussion in 'Pond Management' started by Day81, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. I have heard that channel cats dont spawn in ponds unless you make a special structure for them. Couls someone tell me how to make one and show me a picture of one.
     

  2. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    First off, I don't condone this and never recommend anyone (except fish hatcheries) attempting it. :D Spawning channel cats can really mess up ponds. They will be preyed apon but they will be at the end of the list of what gets eaten and they grow very fast. If you want to eat channel cats breakfast, lunch, and dinner I would recommend accomodating them.

    Anything that's a cavity really. Old drainage tile, those old style butter churns... that's what we used in college to spawn them in. I suspect 5 gallon buckets may even work. Again, anything that's a cavity in 2-6 foot of water will work. The male likes to feel secure in it, and prefer's there be no back opening.
     
  3. wow. I had no idea they could become that big of a problem.
     
  4. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    I've seen ponds that are so turbid you can't see an inch down in them presumably from an excessive population of channels. They'll eat every gill in site... well basically anything they can fit in their mouth. There's no problem with putting catfish in ponds, I feel they have a place, but it's important the pond owner not allow them to over populate and I firmly beleive subsidizing their diet with pellet chow is important.
     
  5. Here's a couple of 4 year old catfish from my pond. Early on they were taking pellets then it seemed like they just stopped all at once. Notice what's sticking out of their mouths...
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    [​IMG]
    A tube and a Senko. At some point they moved off the feedlot and became top predators. I only stocked 16 for fear they would eventually compete with the bass. I've been removing them as I catch them now. It's always a nice surprise to hook into a 10lb channel but allowing them to spawn could quickly become a serious problem unless all you're interested in catching is catfish. I highly recommend not putting in spawning structure as Fishman described. If you want more, they're cheap to purchase for restocking. There's always a chance that an overambitious channel will just dig a hole in the side of the pond and spawn anyway.
     
  6. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Where there's a will there is a way! Funny ya mention it actually, was at a guys house who had a large slab of rock, like a small 4x4 dock or so, well he propped it up with a cinder block to keep it from sinking in the mud. Catfish litterally excavated the soil from beneath the rock creating a cavity. I was there during the spawning reason, I could reach my hand back into the hole and grab their tails and such... but they never bit me. I stink at noodlin' apparently :D In my honest opinion... if you have no intentions of ever fishing for channel cats don't stock them in ponds at all. But in a low density like Pondfin has the likely hood of them spawning is slim to nil and he keep's a close watch on his fish. If he catches a 12" channel cat, he probably gets concerned :D

    Chunky lookin cats too, look tasty :D
     
  7. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Yup, I think it's important to give them pellet food when their willing to take it. As they get older they definitally start looing for alternative food sources... 2-3 lb channel cats are definitally starting to look at bluegills differently as that weight goes up they continue looking at more and more fish as a meal. They are a "top of the line" predator as PondFin stated.
     
  8. Fishman

    Fishman Catch bait???

    Saw an even more interesting thing today, further more showing "where there is a will there is a way" in regards to them spawning in ponds. Would of killed for a camera, could of gotten a good shot.

    Was walking around a pond when I noticed a smaller channel cat swim off and a larger one shooting out of a cave followed suite. Clearly I had startled them channel cats laying in cave and the smaller one as I well. After I finished walking around the pond I made my way back over to where I had saw the channels... because it struck me as odd... the entrances to the caves were very much paralell to the surface... like a lot of excavation had been done. This was in a clay bottom in about a foot of water. There were 3 caves in total, and I could upon closer examination see the tip of a male channel cats head poking out of it. I'm really thinking these were muskrat runs created last year in the drought... it's logical... but part of me thought "man I wonder if they made those things themselves???!!" This is primarily from the fact I've never saw muskrat activity in the pond, but he does live very close to an area would muskrats would live. I'm half tempted to go back and get some photos of it.
     
  9. Just curious, I know folks in lakes put them ( barrels/tiles etc) in creek channels and in muddy flats but wondered where in a river situation the best place to put a tile, since i know of a bunch already in the local rivers, just curious if in eddys, on swifter gravel or where would be the optimum place to find a channel spawning in a river assuming the tiles were already there.
    My buddys with DNR's help put hundreds of old concrete tiles into the Stillwater back in the 70's and 90% of them are still there today, making for some great smallie fishing.

    Salmonid