Maryland Asking Fishermen to Kill Invasive Catfish
Kevin Felts 06.26.18
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking fisherman to catch and kill two types of invasive catfish. The problem is, the catfish are only invasive to Maryland. The two types of catfish the Maryland DNR is asking fisherman to kill are widely found across the southern part of the United States.
The two types of catfish are the Blue (aka High Fin Blue) and the Flathead (aka Appaloosa).
Maybe someone should tell the Maryland Department of Natural Resources both of those catfish are some good eating. When the Appaloosa reaches a large size, the meat can get fatty and is not very good to eat. However, the Blue is an excellent tasting catfish.
It seems two invasive species of catfish are taking over Maryland waterways and now the Department of Natural Resources wants area fishermen to kill them.
DNR is asking fishermen to remove and kill any blue and flathead catfish rather than catch and release them. Officials say the species of catfish “pose a serious long-term threat to our native species.”
There is a video in the article showing Blue catfish coming up on the bank for food. The fish appear to be at least 12, maybe even around 15 inches long. Those would make some wonderful fillets.
Rather than asking people to kill the blues and Flatheads, maybe tell people how delicious they are? Get fishermen to start running trotlines, take a few lessons from the southern part of the United States (especially cajuns) and before long the Blue and Flathead population is come under control.
Why ask the public to kill something rather than asking the people to eat it?
Fishing for Catfish
Here in Southeast Texas, Blues and Flatheads are common in various lakes and rivers. The most common way to catch the catfish is either on noodles or trotlines. The old timers say the biggest catfish care caught in the main river channels.
My great grandfather would run trotlines in the Neches River here in Southeast Texas, and sometimes he would pull some monster catfish out of the water. This was back in the 1970s and early 1980s. Everything from soap to live perch are used as bait. Some people use chicken liver as bait for trotlines.
Rather than pulling the skin off the catfish, they can filleted with a good sharp fillet knife. While camping on the Angelina River, I will sometimes catch blues with foam noodles. Several years ago, my daughter and I caught a Blue on a foam noodle, and the fish was close to 30 inches long.
If people in Maryland are just killing the Blues and Flatheads, they are missing out on some good eating. Kill the fish sure, but bring them home and cook up some fried catfish with them.