2011 Ohio Blue Catfish Stocking

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Yearling and fingerling blue catfish will be stocked into Hoover Reservoir for the first time in the fall of 2011, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The stocking effort is part of a pilot project conducted by the division’s Inland Fisheries Research Unit to determine if stocking blue catfish can create trophy fisheries in Ohio reservoirs.

This is the second time that blue catfish will be stocked in Ohio waters in more than 30 years.  Blue catfish are native to Ohio, but are currently found only in the Ohio River and its tributaries.  The Ohio’s state record blue catfish was caught in the Ohio River in 2009 and weighed in at 96 pounds.

Careful monitoring of this project will determine whether annual stocking in a reservoir with suitable habitat and prey can produce a high quality fishery. If stocking results are positive and state fish hatcheries are able to meet production demands, stocking may be expanded to additional reservoirs.

Hoover Reservoir is an impoundment of Big Walnut Creek in Franklin County that is owned and operated by the City of Columbus.  Fisheries in this 2,880-acre reservoir are managed by the Division of Wildlife through an agreement with the City of Columbus.

Blue catfish are similar in appearance to channel catfish, however young blue catfish do not exhibit the “freckled” coloration that is characteristic of young channel catfish. The edge of the anal fin (the fin on the underside of the fish closest to the tail) of blue catfish forms a straight line and is longer than that of channel catfish, which is curved.

source: Ohio Department of Natural Resources