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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Catfish - stock status report

Marine Fisheries

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Channel Catfish

Catfish

Stock Status – Unknown – Federal aid project F-80 began March 2004 to fulfill data needs for the upcoming fishery management plan. Commercial landings are 15% below the 10 - year average. However, the 2010 Juvenile Abundance Index is five times higher than the running average. Data are not sufficient to evaluate status.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2001–2010 – 416,731 lbs./$102,454

2010 Commercial Landings and Value – 354,622 lbs./$64,272

Average Recreational Landings 2001–2010 – Not available

Status of Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – There is no state or federal plan. A state plan is scheduled for development when adequate data are available.

Data and Research Needs – Validation of juvenile indices, size, age, and sex composition of commercial and recreational harvest, fecundity estimates, updated maturity estimates, gear selectivity estimates, gut content analysis, characterize species composition of commercial harvest, characterize species composition between waterbodies, spawning area surveys, identify movement and migration patterns, evaluate similarities of age, growth, and productivity between waterbodies.
               
Current Regulations – No regulations in place

Harvest Season – Open year round

Size and Age at Maturity – White and channel catfish – 7–12 inches total length (TL)/ 3–4 years; bullheads– 8–10 inches TL/ 3 years

Historical and Current Maximum Age – 20 years/19 years

Juvenile Abundance Index 2004 – 2010 – 2.1 2010 – 10.4 (not validated)

Habits and Habitats – Spawning occurs in nests over sand, gravel, and mud, and under protection of logs, roots, and vegetation, from late March through June depending on the species. Males of some species protect the young once hatching occurs. Juveniles utilize the rivers and sounds as a nursery area within the same area as adults.

For more information please contact Michael Loeffler at Michael.Loeffler@ncdenr.gov or 1-800-338–7805 or (252) 264–3911.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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