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Protection of Flathead Catfish

Discussion in 'Catfish Discussion' started by zcat, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. zcat


    This is an e-mail that I sent to the ODNR ( If you agree with my views I would suggest that you e-mail them as well.

    I would like to see more restrictive harvest of flathead catfish. This is the largest native fish in Ohio, with not much protection from over harvest.

    Why protect more?: Falling nesting habitat, over havest, fish being taking out of public waters and sold to pay lakes, no stocking program, commercial fishing methods for the recreational fisherman like: bank poles, trout lines, and jugs.

    What I would like to happen: 4 fish limit, stocking, have pay lakes show where all flatheads come from, and to greatly limit the number of bank poles, trout lines and jugs. To limit these methoods would make this more of a recreational sport, then a commercial havest method.

    This is a truly massive fish that needs more protection.
  2. Several quick points, first, do a spell check on the post, second, I believe the state already has restricted commercial fishing for them in the sense that the present limit is 1 fish over I believe its 30" a day, I also believe what you refer to as Trout lines are really called TROT lines. The Paypond issue has been hashed out and is presently being watched closely by DNR as to where the fish have come from, several payponds have been busted over the last several years from buying fish from unathorized folks so the payponds are getting better about where they get the fish from.
    I doubt stocking will ever happen since raising flatheads is expensive and DNR stocking budgets are shrinking every year. Along those same lines, why stock hatchery fish into areas that have native wild fish? thats bad karma so that only leaves stocking to places where they are not presently, and stocking flatheads into a established fishery would certainly do a lot of harm since flatties can eat their weight every couple days. You can bet the bass, musky and saugeye groups would have a fit if they were introduced into there home lakes and I wouldnt blame them, Mother nature has them them right where they need to be, now back on point, I do feel that they should be protected since so many folks are now out there fishing for big cats and seem to keep a ton of what they catch and thats a bad thing for the fishery to sustain. Id like to see a 100% release of all fish over 35" whether it be from public river or lake. Of course we know that will never happen.

    I could see the number of limb, jug and trot lines reduced down to a reasonable number and could see that in the future but enforcement of typical night ways of fishing make that possibility slim to none as far as ever getting the legislature through on it.

    Just my .02, I definately would like to see more awareness and protection, I just dont think its going to happen from DNR on the skinny budgets they are on.


  3. take out the part about pay lakes, they do not get there fish from around here. also i'm sure the dnr is as sick of hearing about them as i am. otherwise i agree i would love to see greatly restricted limits on flatheads, they really need to put a low number on the amount of flatheads that you are allowed to keep under 35in. the current limit with one fish over 35in and unlimited under is rediculous. as to the limb lines and bank lines, so few people set those anymore and it's so difficult to enforce i dont see how the dnr could do anything about them. as for stocking i dont see the need, there are many more flatheads in the local rivers than most people would think, the problem is most of them are under 5lbs, all the more reason for restricted harvest. the biggest thing is we are already moving in the right direction because people are taking an intrest in flathead managment and the dnr will eventually have to recognize that
  4. I have a dumb question...

    Why do people keep flatties that are so large? I'm not very familiar with that type of cat, although, I've been trying to catch one this year, with no luck so far...Are these fish good eaters? To me, it would seem to make the most sense that this fish should be used for sport only...C, P, & R!!!
  5. so they can show them off, some people do eat them but i have a hard time believing you can kill a 40lb fish and not have most of it go to waste. i also see a lot of people putting fish in their own ponds so they have a mini paylake at the house
  6. zcat


    Just wanted to know if anyone was able to give their own views to the dnr.
  7. acklac7

    acklac7 S.S.

    I believe DNR policy forbids stocking native fish in natural systems. I.E. they won't stock additional fish (Flatheads/Smallmouth) in a river which already has a native population. Could be wrong on that though.

    And, as Salmonid noted, Flathead populations can easily rage out of control. Georgia recently legalized electro-harvesting of flatheads (in certain streches) in order to combat flatty's that were illegally introduced into some of its waterways.

    I will say that the DNR does need to crack down on paylakes. Harvesting with the intent of comsumption is one thing, but when Flatty has a dollar amount stapled on it's head a whole 'nother beast is unleashed...
  8. flathunter

    flathunter Mellons mentor

    I know of people who do catch flatheads from our rivers and sell them to pay to fish lakes..Illegal but it happens alot.
  9. There is no regulation change that will affect that since they don't follow the rules currently in place.;)

    I am curious as to how badly the new regulation of 1 fish over 30" gets abused. It is a new regulations so I also wonder how many old timer catfishermen do not even recognize that it is a regulation. Being that the regulation is new I think it is too new to see what impact it has on the fish. Hopefully even with the violators the impact will still be favorable. I would think that the number harvested now versus a couple of years ago has to be down. It takes a lot of years for them to grow to the large size so the results will be rather slow.
  10. neocats1

    neocats1 Team Catastrophe

    This is a touchy topic with a lot of people. Flathead conservation needs to an educational issue more than anything. The angler's that practice good harvesting will continue to do so regardless of the laws. The people that are practicing poor harvesting habits, in return, will also continue to do so regardless of any laws.
    ODNR does not have the resources to police an arear the size of the Ohio River, and most people know this.

    By the way, if people are illegal selling Flatheads to pay lake, how much money is actually invovled for one fish? Would you get paid by the pound?
  11. zcat


    We are on the site to talk about fishing . Not to criticize the way someone spells. I have looked at your past post, And you may want check your spelling.
  12. I don't believe Salmonid meant anything by the spell check recommendation. He was simply saying that if you are send a letter to the ODNR or any organization it looks better and leaves a better impression on the reader if they find it well written. For the most part I would say it was written fine except for a couple of spelling miscues. Also, it is actually "trot" lines rather that "trout" lines. Again I am not criticize you, just pointing out a couple of things.

    I know this is a touchy subject with a lot of folks. I really don't think the regulation that is in place for one fish over 30" has been in place for nearly long enough to have an impact. I think it will help some. Will it be enough to satisfy everyone? I doubt it. Will it make a noticeable difference across the state? I think that is the one that remains to be answered. As far as the sale of flatties to paylakes, that practice gets in to illegal activity and I don't think further legislation will have any impact on that activity. Enforcement of the current regulations or whatever is in place at the time is the only way to put an end to that.
  13. zcat


    Thankyou..... bkr43050
  14. Baitkiller

    Baitkiller Baitkiller

    This I have read n believe:

    The number 1 reason that we have the population of Flats that we do is.......
    habitat, habitat and HABITAT!!!!

  15. wargoth

    wargoth Banned

    I think we should just give ODNR the abilitly to shoot poachers on sight. You'd see alot less of it if the penalties were severe enough. Right now, you get caught poaching, and they slap you on the wrist. Now, one fish over limit, or the like is another matter, easily explainable, but some of the other crap that goes on just plain p's me off.

    I remember reading not long ago about some idiots getting busted up in the Western Basin with 300 some walleye in their boat, and all DNR did was fine 'em. Grrrrr. Should have been publicly hanged.