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After a series of recent happenings I decided to call the ODNR yesterday. Pretty exciting stuff. Here's a small summary.

The OEPA had done an electro-fishing survey in the Sandusky River which produced both a 37# and 15# Flathead Catfish. To someone who considers the Sandusky their 'home waters' this was pretty shocking. I had known of only one confirmed catch from the Sandusky River in my entire lifetime, that I covered quite extensively on my site a few years ago. So anyways, shortly after reading the article about the OEPA, I get some communication about some Flatheads being taken from the Portage River. Along with the OEPA having photos on their article, I was given photos from the Portage River catches. So as if this isn't exciting enough, two nights ago while fishing the Sandusky River north of Fremont... I land my own Sandusky River Flathead Catfish... so much for the secondary reports (even though they are documented and legitimate), I have first hand proof. Mine was just a baby measuring maybe a bit over a foot... but a Flathead nontheless. And yes I did take a good number of photos before releasing it. Probably gonna do a write up and story this weekend on my site but thought this was big enough news to share with the NW Ohio anglers on OGF. Anyways, my call to the ODNR yielded that they were aware the Flathead were expanding their range in northern Ohio. He confirmed some other catches of them outside of the Maumee River and didn't act overly surprised.

It's exciting to have new areas to target these fish, I hope people recognize how long it takes for these fish to reach those big trophy sizes. I encourage and request people to release them. The smaller fish will feed on nightcrawlers and more commonly fished baits so I hope people recognize what they are and not confuse them with bullhead and harvest them. Spread the word, educate your fellow anglers... lets hope we get a sustainable expanded successful fishery for them!
 

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Trophy flatheads take an extremely long time to get to a good size. I talked with a fishery guy during the walleye run taking fish surveys and he said they had been tracking flatheads (from Maumee) going out into lake erie and cruising around a bit. Looks like their finding some new homes:D.
 

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I caught one a few years back in Green Creek, less than a mile from where it dumps into the Sandusky. We had already caught a bunch of bullheads and channels, and it stood out like a sore thumb when we brought it in the boat. Maybe 16" to 18" range and really surprised us.
 

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i told ya fick. you heard it from us first
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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I just caught about a 9 pounder out of the Huron river a few weeks ago. Pictures taken and fish was released unharmed. Blew my mind. So I am glad to hear it isn't just a fluke.
 

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That's awesome news Adam. :D

I would have figgered they were in other rivers in NW OH besides the Maumee, but obviously not in good numbers. Wouldn't that be nice to have 'em as thick as the channels are? Number-wise I mean....

Hopefully in a few years there will be a fishable population in other local rivers....God knows the Maumee gets raped pretty hard. :mad:
 

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That's awesome news Adam. :D

I would have figgered they were in other rivers in NW OH besides the Maumee, but obviously not in good numbers. Wouldn't that be nice to have 'em as thick as the channels are? Number-wise I mean....

Hopefully in a few years there will be a fishable population in other local rivers....God knows the Maumee gets raped pretty hard. :mad:
I have seen a lot of big fish killed for no other reason than to show them off. Some people are just plain idiots
 

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nice find.. glad to hear that the flatheads r expanding i love catching them.. here is a little info on how long it takes for these creatures to get trophy size.. average 20" weights 3.5lbs that fish is about 5yrs old a 30" weights 12lbs and is 10yrs old. 40" 30.2lbs 15yrs... average 50lber is 45".. these r just typical aver. for the northern US.. got it out of my catfish book Fishing For Catfish by Keith Sutton. good book gots lots of info on all catfish.. i could go on but ill quit for now good fishing to everyone
 
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