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Would you support making the Flathead(Shovelhead) catfish a gamefish

  • Yes

    Votes: 24 88.9%
  • No

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • I am undecided

    Votes: 1 3.7%

Flathead Catfish needs your help

9508 Views 145 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  atrkyhntr
As I am sure some of you are already aware, there are people that are trying to get the Flathead (Shovelhead( Catfish some protection by getting it gamefish status. There are areas in the Ohio River and other rivers across the country where the populations of this Trophy fish are being decimated by commercial fishing using a variety of different types of netting methonds. How long will it be before this species goes the way of the Sturgeon, I myself have never seen a Sturgeon in the wild, I don't want our children or grandchildren to say the samething about the Flathead. These great fish are not being hunted for food, a vast majority of them are being sold live to private paylakes across the nation where they eventually die of stress, in alot of cases these lakes amount to nothing more than ponds. These lakes were are not suited for these large fish in so great of numbers ... Many are being kept alive in the summer months by aerators because the lake cannot maintain an effecient amount of oxygen naturally.
We are in no way asking for a ban on keeping these fish for food, we are simply attempting to get the Flathead catfish classified as a game fish, offering it the same protection as many of the fish you already fish for.
Even if you are not a fishermen, I would appreciate it if you would take the time to vote .. Could you imagine how you would feel if some companies started capturing our deer and other wildlife only to be sold to ranches where they were killed for money?
This poll is simply to get a feel for the amount of support out there, your opinion is needed and respected no matter how you vote. It would be greatly appreciated if you have any suggestions or comments that you post them here, it would give great insight into the feelings of other fisherman on the subject

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I voted yes on this matter simply because flatheads, and all catfish for that matter, are game fish and should be treated as such. Commercial fishing to support paylakes is what needs to be extinct.
I agree with Desperado, all catfish should be classified as game fish.
I'm a little bit miffed right now. The thread about how commercial fishing is depleting the flathead population has been removed. This does not make me happy.
The Latin name for the flathead catfish is Pylodictis olivaris.

"Pylodictis is Greek meaning "mud fish," and olivaris is Latin for "olive-colored." Flathead catfish are typically pale yellow (hence the name "yellow cat") to light brown on the back and sides, and highly mottled with black and/or brown. The belly is usually pale yellow or cream colored. The head is broadly flattened, with a projecting lower jaw. The tail fin is only slightly notched, not deeply forked as is the case with blue and channel catfish. Young fish may be very dark, almost black in appearance." (Texas Parks and Wildlife website)


More good information about the flathead can be found at:
There is a National Catfishing Association, and after finally gaining access to their website I discovered that it hasn't been updated since 1999 (http://www.nationalcat.com/NCA.html). And while searching the net, I also discovered that there are a nember of catfish societies already in existence (uscats.com, wwcats.com, etc.) but the bulk of them deal with catfishing tournies, except for the organization in the U.K.

Now, if someone will give me a direction to go in our research, I will do the best I can to dig up whatever info I can find.
Ohio Catfisherman's Society

I propose that we name our organization the Ohio Catfisherman's Society. I further propose that we grab ohiocats.com or .org for our domain name on the internet.

Hey Bob, can you give me some direction on obtaining the necessary documentation for the tax-exempt status with the IRS?
BB, I don't think we have a definitive list of who is working on this, but I believe that those of us who are active in this thread and helping to develop ideas and conducting research are the ones who are the most involved in this project.

I've toying with some more domain name ideas for a website and I have come up with a couple that are available:


From what I've learned in my workings on the web, a good thing about domain names is to keep them as short as possible yet still having the name alone contain the basic information on what the website is about. My choice from the two listed above is ohiocatfishermen.org.

One more thing, I believe that both Jack and Scott deserve a huge "AttaBoy" from all of us for getting this whole thing started. Thanks, guys.
I think we should stay within Ohio for now simply because we have what looks like to be a long hard fight to accomplish what we're after now without any added adventures outside our realm...
I agree with this idea. I believe it would be much easier to start out with a more localized organization working towards a localized agenda than to go national from the onset. Don't misunderstand me, I believe a National organization with local chapters will ultimately be a necessity as the movement to get catfish listed as a game fish grows. I simply believe that because we are a local group of individuals who are presently working towards accomplishing a local goal, we should remain a more localized organization. Hopefully through what we are attempting to accomplish here in Ohio, individuals in other states/regions will take up the cause in their respective areas; paving the way for a National organization.
Although I don't personally have the money that may be necessary for this endeavor to get off the ground, I do have the time and energy available. Yet I do believe the money situation will work itself out. However, I don't believe that I possess the knowledge necessary for me to feel qualified to lead this group. All I ask of everyone right now is to not become disheartened and give up before we really get started. As atrkyhntr has previously and correctly stated, this is going to be a lengthy process, requiring a lot of patience from everyone.

And Bob, I hadn't looked at this operation from the viewpoint you just presented. I'm starting to wonder if maybe we shouldn't follow C.A.G.'s lead, taking on a national moniker while working towards a local goal. That is definitely an idea worthy of everyone's thoughts. I'm actually wondering if Catfish Anglers Society wouldn't be an appropriate name.
MadCatter, I'm not sure I agree with your statement concerning the channel cats population not being a problem. Jack made a statement in another thread that to him, any channel over 10# was a big one. In my mind, that represents a problem. I realize that a 20# channel cat is a trophy caliber fish, but I can remember when I was a kid watching my dad, grandfather and uncle pull out stringer-loads of channel cats over 20# in one outting. So today, when a 10#er is considered a big fish, I have to think there is a fishery problem. However, I will concede this, while the channel cat may not grow to be as large as a flathead or a blue, it will reach its largest size potential quicker that a flat or a blue. I had a channel cat in one of my aquariums and it outgrew my largest tank in less than 6 months (it grew from a 4" fry into a 10" young adult during that time). Maybe with channel cats the object wouldn't be to get it classified as a game fish, but instead have number and size limits set into place. But this is just my opinion.
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I agree, one fish at a time - flatheads first.
Jim, as you well know, I fish the GMR most of the time (same spot most of the time as well) and I caught just 1 flathead during all of last year. And I guess I caught about 20 channel cats during all of last year also. The truth be told, despite having been out fishing maybe 10 times since our September get-together at Tanners Creek, I haven't caught any cats since I fished with Davedacat at our outting. I realize that catfish are a "warm water fish," but all of the times I was out, the water wasn't so cold where I shouldn't have been catching fish, and especially from a hole that was productive all summer.

I know that Hamilton County has stocked some large flatheads in Miami Whitewater Forest: they posted pictures in the boathouse. But as for the state, I can't say. Until recently, I hadn't been tracking what the state's fisheries department was doing.
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