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How fast do channel cats grow? and do they eat baby bass?


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#1 Apexkeeper

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Posted January 15 2009 - 12:52 AM

Anyone know how fast channel cats grow?
In 2000-2001 the state dumped something like 600 6" catfish in the lake behind my house. It was never well advertised and I've never seen anyone even try to fish for them...
Any chance there's some monsters swimming around down there yet?
Also, could these things be causing the dwindling bass population?



#2 DerrickT

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Posted January 15 2009 - 1:21 AM

Yes they will eat baby bass. As far as growing, they're slow growers. Genrally speaking channel cats that are around 12 inches are probally 6-8 years old. Have you caught any from this place yet? Of course there are some variable that play into this.


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#3 Apexkeeper

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Posted January 15 2009 - 1:40 AM

Last spring I caught 2 very small ones, 8-10 inches... I was hoping they were offspring of the original stock but I guess they were the originals
How old do they live? I've pulled monsters out of the the big D and if they grow that slow they must live for quite a while.



#4 Old Gringo

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Posted January 15 2009 - 7:02 AM

I'm going to disagree.

There are many variables, of course, but under the right conditions, channel cats grow pretty quickly. This, and their high conversion ratio (body weight increase:food weight consumed), is the reason they are so successfully farmed.

And yes, cats will eat bass, but in a moment of quid pro quo, bass will eat baby catfish. Channels will spawn successfully just about anywhere, but fry survival in small ponds/lakes is near zero, due to the high density of predators like bluegill and bass.

It's unlikely that the cats are having an adverse impact on the bass population, but if you're concerned, do your part as an apex predator...catch and release into your skillet.


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#5 Lucky

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Posted January 15 2009 - 8:33 AM

Channels grow fast. Those fish are big already. Go get um.


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#6 Longislandguy

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Posted January 15 2009 - 2:37 PM

I don't know about channel cats, but catfish that I had in my koi pond tripled in size in two years. They were 6 inches when I purchased them.



#7 DerrickT

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Posted January 15 2009 - 11:21 PM

I found this article. Interesting read. Written 20 years ago. http://aqua.ucdavis..../aqua/180FS.PDF

Age and growth
Channel catfish grow best in warm
water with optimum growth occurring
at temperatures of about 85° F
(29.4° C). With each 18° F (10° C)
change in temperature there is a
doubling or halving of their metabolic
rate. This means that within
limits, their appetite increases with
increasing water temperatures or
decreases with decreasing water
temperatures.
In natural waters, the average size
channel catfish caught by fishermen
is probably less than 2 to 3 pounds,
but the world record of 58 pounds
was caught in Santee Cooper Reservoir,
South Carolina, in 1964. The
size and age that channel catfish
reach in natural waters depends on
many factors. Age and growth
studies have shown that in many
natural waters channel catfish do not
reach 1 pound in size until they are 2
to 4 years old. One study in the Lake
of the Ozarks, Missouri, found that
channel catfish did not reach a size
of 13 inches total length until they
were 8 years old. The maximum age
ever recorded for channel catfish is
40 years, whereas most commercially
raised catfish are harvested before

they are 2 years old.


If conditions are right they will grow fast, here in the northeast though given how long we would have the optimum conditions they would grow slow. With that said a few years ago a local golf course with the help of the Pa fish and boat commission released close to 20 channel cats they had in there ponds for aproximatly 8 years. Most of the fish were between 9 and 10 lbs.


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#8 Apexkeeper

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Posted January 15 2009 - 11:30 PM

the average size
channel catfish caught by fishermen
is probably less than 2 to 3 pounds,


Where the heak are they fishing
I consider a 5 pound channel cat small... Average 10-15 pounds
by those estimates (1 pound every 2-4 years) that makes the big 20+ pounders defy logic.



#9 DerrickT

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Posted January 15 2009 - 11:36 PM

Where the heak are they fishing
I consider a 5 pound channel cat small... Average 10-15 pounds
by those estimates (1 pound every 2-4 years) that makes the big 20+ pounders defy logic.



I think the report came out of the southeast. Most of the channel catties we catch here are the river are probally between 2-3 lbs. I'm sure they're are bigger ones but the 2-3lbers seem to be the norm. Out of a day's fishing you might get 2 to 4 that go around 5lbs but most are 2-3 lbs. Now the lake I bass fish in is a different story. Most of the catfish I caught were by accident but where probally 6 or 7lb fish.


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#10 billthe5th

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Posted January 16 2009 - 7:38 PM

in NJ, where the orgiinal poster is from, I have read that there are only two bodies of water with reproducing channel cats. The delaware river and union lake.

The state stocks them in many other lakes though. I am guessing the NJ growth rate is also considerably slower than in the south. A 10# channel gets attention aroudn here from what I understand.


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#11 Apexkeeper

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Posted January 16 2009 - 7:55 PM

in NJ, where the orgiinal poster is from, I have read that there are only two bodies of water with reproducing channel cats. The delaware river and union lake.

The state stocks them in many other lakes though. I am guessing the NJ growth rate is also considerably slower than in the south. A 10# channel gets attention aroudn here from what I understand.

10 pounds is a respectable fish but not at all uncommon in the Delaware. I catch more in the 10+ pound range than I do in the 2-3 pound range. And cats close to 20 pounds are not outrageous. I've never seen a fish that size in any lake though. which is why i asked my original question as to when/if channel cats that are stocked can become the size you see in the Delaware.



#12 jamesdart

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Posted January 16 2009 - 9:26 PM

i kept them in fish tanks before, they grow extreemly fast without even feeding them a lot.



#13 fishingaddict24

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Posted January 17 2009 - 12:59 AM

in NJ, where the orgiinal poster is from, I have read that there are only two bodies of water with reproducing channel cats. The delaware river and union lake.

The state stocks them in many other lakes though. I am guessing the NJ growth rate is also considerably slower than in the south. A 10# channel gets attention aroudn here from what I understand.


There is a small lake in my town, maybe 30-40 acres, for resident fishing only. They stocked channel cats in there probably 15-20 years ago, I think only one time. The average size I catch out of there is just under 10 lbs, and I've heard they've been caught up to 25 lbs. According to the park ranger theyre reproducing in there too, but I've yet to catch any less than 6 lbs. But if they were stocked just once that long ago and range from 6-25 lbs they must reproduce at least occasionally. The lake is quite deep and full of structure so I'm not too surprised.



#14 fishingaddict24

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Posted January 17 2009 - 1:00 AM

oh and I should mention I live in north jersey



#15 Apexkeeper

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Posted January 17 2009 - 1:20 AM

Thats about the same size this lake is. I think its just about 40 acres and all residential. Good depth, good structure, and 2 streams feeding it.