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Tuesday, February 7 • 9:20am - 9:40am
Technical Session. An Evaluation of Channel Catfish X Blue Catfish Hybrids in Two Small Kansas Impoundments

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AUTHORS: Ben C. Neely, Sean T. Lynott, Jeff D. Koch - Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism

ABSTRACT: Channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus x Blue Catfish I. furcatus hybrids (hereinafter hybrid catfish) are increasingly being used in commercial aquaculture because they grow more rapidly and uniformly than Channel Catfish. Additionally, rapid growth of hybrid catfish in aquaculture allows 5 to 7-in fish to be stocked in fall as age-0 fish. This circumvents problems associated with overwintering Channel Catfish and stocking as age-1 fish. However, their application in recreational fisheries remains largely unknown. We stocked equal numbers of hybrid catfish and Channel Catfish in two small (approximately 100 surface acres) impoundments in southeast Kansas in 2013, 2014, and 2015 to evaluate retention of freeze brands, somatic growth, and relative body condition. Freeze brands were retained by nearly 80% of fish up to 15-in TL. Hybrid catfish reached 15-in TL as age-1 fish in fall or age-2 fish in spring. This was nearly one year sooner than Channel Catfish that reached 15-in TL as age-2 fish in fall or age-3 fish in spring. Weight at length did not differ for hybrid catfish and Channel Catfish up to 21-in TL. Results presented herein demonstrate that hybrid catfish might be suitable for stocking in Kansas waters when rapid growth is desired. However, Channel Catfish remain an important sport fish to Kansas Anglers. Social components of stocking hybrid catfish in place of Channel Catfish should be thoroughly evaluated.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 9:20am - 9:40am CST
Grand Ballroom B