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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

9503 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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Guys I have been i contact with a mississippi river catfish guide who is doing the same thing we are trying to do..Here is one of his emails to me..I left his name off for now

It is very possible, if all the concerned anglers get together and raise Hell. Ya'll have got to form together and stick together. You can't have a bunch of fence riders and spineless blowbags!! I know what I am talking about because I have been intrumental in size limits being imposed on the Miss. river in TN. waters for commercial fishermen and hopefully it will go statewide this year for all fishermen.
I have the commercial fishermen mad at me and threatning me because they think I am solely responsible for this regulation. I have had Catfishermen complain and cry about the devestation the Commercial netters are doing to the Blue and Flatheads, but when it comes down to taking a stand, they "chicken out". Many are afraid they will piss the Commercial fishermen off, and beleive me it does!
I have even had a couple of guys jump over the fence when they saw that they too, might have to return the big Cats to the river. They are sport fishermen that want to complain about the fish the Commercial guys take out of the river but when they catch a 50+ pounder, they want to drag it all over God's green earth showing it off. They don't have enough sense to realize that a picture will last for years.
There is too many people chaseing these trophy size fish now days, for us sporfishermen to keep them. Big Cats are in demand and if we don't conserve, they will deminish!
Everyone has got to take a stand and stick to it. We can win but it won't be a cake walk.
I take the commercial fishermen's threats seriously and I hope they realize that I too will counter-attack. They mess with my personal property or my physical being, I will them too.
Stay in touch and stop this senseless slaughter of every fishermens resource
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As you can tell from his email he has been threatened by the commercial fishermen in his area with harm...That makes me want to get this done even more:mad:
When it comes time, I'll put my name on the list. I enjoy cattin' and invest way too much money in it, as all of you do, to watch it diminish to nothing.
And the idea of cats, whether it be channels, flatties or blues being taken from OUR waters and put in some over size aquarium for people that don't have enough.......I don't know, for people who are too lazy to fish a natural waterway? Is lazy right? I don't know. But now that Jim brought up that point it p's me off.

The cats attract too many people to be considered a bottom feeding trash fish.
i have not voted in the poll,but have been doing a little surfing and writing.i sent this to the dnr in hopes of getting some kind of answer as to what plans,if any,they have.

To whom it may concern,
After revieing your 10 year strategic plan for inland waters,I would like to commend you for your efforts to impove our fishing resources,and the job you have done thus far.However,there is one thing that didn't seem to be addressed in the program.That is any specifics regarding regulations on particular species.
Upon noticing in your report,that you consider the catfish one of the most sought after fish in the state,I would like to know if there are any plans to list it as a gamefish,and place some type of bag,size limits on it.
I also would like to know if you are considering any restrictions as far as commercial harvest.I know that concerning the Ohio river,our neighboring states have different policies,and the division works closely with them.Which leads to one of my concerns about the Ohio.In my opinion,the commercial fishing industry is having a negative impact on the flathead and bluecat populations,along with,to a lesser extent,overharvest of the larger fish by sportfishermen.This is a concern shared by thousands of fishermen in the state,and not just those who fish for catfish in general,or trophy bluecats and flatheads.
In my opinion,there needs to be an effort to list the channel,flathead and bluecat as gamefish,and impose some type of limits and commercial restrictions on them,not only in the Ohio river,but all inland waters.
I have been fishing for most of my 56 years,and have noticed a marked improvement in almost all aspects of the sport,due for the most part,to the ODNR.I think that promoting the three top catfish species to sportfish status,with limits on both commercial,and sportfishing,would be welcomed with open arms by the vast majority of sportsmen in this great state.
There is a grassroots movement being born at this time,in an attemt to get these things done,with your help.I think it is well overdue and we need to protect this valuable resource for our children and grandchildren,so they may enjoy the great sport these fine fish have given me over my lifetime.
I'm sure you've received correspondance on this topic in the past,and will see more in the future.Please consider it seriously,and continue to be the agency that so many of us are proud of,by doing whatever is in your power to set goals to achieve the protection that these fish need.
in closing,I'd like to add that,not only would fishermen benefit from such regulations,but I'm sure there are many businesses and communities which could also benefit.
Thank you very much for you time,and I will be looking forward to hearing any response to this issue.
rick seevers

ps.......now i will vote yes in the poll:) ;)
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Has anyone found out what politicions are on wildlife/outdoors side?
I'd like to compile a list for future reference...
As in when we write letters/emails like a few have done already copies or copies to can be sent to our state officials too ;)

i think maybe the search can be narrowed pretty quick by eliminating most democrats,and with his stand on gun issues,possibly our governor:rolleyes: ;)
Took the words right out of my mouth Rick, regarding democrats and our governor.

Would there be any chance of pursuing our bordering states to bring this up to the odnr?

What are Indiana, Kentucky, W. Virginia and Pennsylvania's regulations?

I would say that all the states that border Ohio would have to have the same regulations for this to work........if not the netters will just go to the Ky side or the WV side etc etc..BUT one step at a time eh?
I don't think anything like this would work for them if we didn't do the same......most of the river is on our border. You would think that they, on their own would confront our dnr about the subject.
Great Letter Rick!;)

But your right about of neighboring states. To get this to work we all have to work together. But the way things go it will never happen.

Did you know you can bowfish catfish in Ky. and in the Ohio river from it's banks. I was told that by a ranger when I was visiting my grandmother over there. I guess the people just make the laws to suit them and will only change them with the right amount of money given to them. Just my opinion.:mad:
I wouldn't worry about the other states till we see what can be done right here... Thats like putting the cart before the horse.... baby steps...

I still haven't seen who, if anyone, is going to take the lead and start the ball rolling hmmnmnn :confused:
Does anyone know of a die-hard catman that would become involved from start to never<--- end???

Has there ever been a tagging of fish and records kept on movement or travel patterns in the Ohio River or anywhere?
That would be one area that grant money would be well spent...
This doesn't involve catfish, but shows that steps can be taken....and maybe Taft might care?

Info on Erie commercial fishing
A few rules on commercial fishing. Notice as you scroll down that many rules do not apply to the Ohio river or aren't as strict.

Commercial laws
We can really search here for info

I like this link Ohio General Assembly :D

I did a small "Search Proposed Rules by Keyword in Title" using the keyword "fishing" and came up with the following:

Commercial fishing seasons

Limited entry of commercial fishermen; commercial fishing licenses

Limitations on size of mesh of fishing devices

Fishing methods other than angling; areas affected

Special Ohio river fishing regulations

Now what I don't like is that I can't find anything of value but it may be there somewhere LOL I just haven't been deep into it to date :confused:
Figured more hands were needed so don't be bashful look around ;)
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I couldn't find anything that was very useful......I searched yahoo under several ideas related to Ohio river catfish and Ohio catfish in general. Nothing informative came up.
Very Informative ...

Here is a site I found .. has some facts that will come in handy also it has someother cat links at the bottom

Okay.....help me understand, whoever you are, why you voted NO.......that's two people. If you don't care about cats, why are you in this forum!!!!
#21,flatheads are tough customers and the biggest I have landed is 15# but I had to bring it 100yds upstream on a 9' micro lite pole.wHAT DO THEY LACK,i KNOW FOR A FACT IT ISN'T FIGHT!
Hey BottomBouncer...
Never jump on someone for placing a vote.. we don't know if their straddling the fence or what... We can with some quality information possibly bring them over to our side :D

Also our time is better spent on the agenda at hand not looking for a word fight or worse on the forum ;)
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