Invasive species are considered to be one of the greatest threats to marine and coastal biodiversity worldwide, second only to habitat loss. The good news is that this keeps the big fish in the water as a challenge for the anglers who target the larger trophy fish. 2 . A 28 lb. Blue Catfish Truth Episode 2: 2017 Invasive Catfish Symposium - Duration: 11:23. Chesapeake Bay blue catfish products that are available in grocery and seafood stores are routinely inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Channel Catfish. But, resource managers and foodies alike agree: Eating, about blue catfish in recent years. Sign up for our newsletter and enter to win the second edition of our book. “You have environmental issues, you have food access issues, this is a really good solution for both,” says co-founder and director Wendy Stuart. The appearance of this icon denotes a link external to the Federal Government domain. Virginia Sea Grant/CC BY-ND 2.0 Ever since it was introduced to Virginia’s waters for sport in the 1970s, the blue catfish … Blue Catfish. Not listed as occurring in Idaho by Simpson and Wallace (1978). © 2021 Atlas Obscura. Asian carp are a problem, but they're also dinner. Gastro Obscura covers the world’s most wondrous food and drink. This fact sheet aims to enhance public awareness of this invasive species as a new commercial fishery resource. Since their introduction in Virginia waters in the 1970s, blue catfish populations have exploded. They out-compete the native species for both habitats and food. The blue catfish was introduced to the James and Rappahannock rivers in the 1970s for recreational fishing by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, but they are now considered invasive. People thought that these fish, which like fresh water, would stay in those rivers. Invasive blue catfish only have one known predator: humans. Blue Catfish: Invasive and Delicious. By Bay Bulletin / June 10, 2019 . Thus the Chesapeake Bay Program Partnership asked its Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team to develop an Invasive Catfish Policy Adoption Statement, which notes that "the potential risk posed by blue catfish…on native species warrants action to examine potential measures to reduce densities and limit range expansion, and to evaluate possible negative ecological impacts." If you're the lone caretaker of Brooks Island, not going crazy is job one. They were introduced to several rivers on Virginia’s Western Shore decades ago. Last year’s record-setting rainfall brought more into the Chesapeake Bay than pollution and debris. And resource managers have been working to identify ways to keep the population from getting out of hand. Invasive blue catfish only have one known predator: humans. Tracking millions of fish across several states and jurisdictions is an uphill, underwater battle. A new management strategy in the Chesapeake Bay aims to put blue catfish on your plate. These fish have primarily carnivorous feeding habits, which means that they eat other animals. Invasive Blue Catfish Spreads Further into Va. Rivers. The value used in the 2014 report that currently guides management of invasive Bay catfishes was based on a study of blue catfish from their native range: the fresh waters of the Mississippi River basin. Blue catfish have expanded to brackish portions of the estuary, and have been captured in salinities as high as 21.5 ppt (Fabrizio et al. No purchase necessary. WELCOME, Enjoy l uxury, exclusivity and discretion. And they include healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, too. Blue Catfish (Invasive Threat) Previous Grade: n/a. should keep their catches to smaller than 30 inches. Other Names Channel Cat, Hump-back Blue Description Game fish - see statewide bag & size limits and lake-specific exceptions Ictalurus is Greek meaning "fish cat", and furcatus is Latin, meaning "forked", a reference to the species' forked tail fin. But their numbers are not as great as blue catfish and they are more limited to freshwater. 10/20/2020. Every weekday we compile our most wondrous stories and deliver them straight to you. And people moved them from one river to another, too. Sign up for our email, delivered twice a week. The Blue Catfish is the largest invasive species of freshwater American Catfish. Invasive.org is a joint project of University of Georgia - Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, USDA Forest Service, USDA Identification Technology Program, and USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture The Blue Catfish has become an invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay because they are voraciously opportunistic predators that daily consume between 8-9% of their body weight (CBP, 2017). In this case study, we focus on Blue Catfish Ictalurus furcatus which were introduced in the Chesapeake Bay region and are now considered invasive. The Wide Net Project now distributes fish throughout Maryland and Virginia, and as far north as Philadelphia, blanketing the mid-Atlantic’s universities, restaurants, and baseball stadiums in tasty fillets of invasive seafood. Blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) and flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) are considered by state agencies to be invasive as they eat almost anything and can grow to over 100 pounds, making them invulnerable to natural predation. Adult blue catfish are not bottom feeders, so they don’t get the “muddy” taste some catfish do. The region’s call to arms—or rather the dinner table—is only the latest attempt to turn appetites toward solving an ecological problem. The Chesapeake Bay Program, in which NOAA is a key partner, has an, that has focused on the problem. Recently, this Workgroup approved an Invasive Catfish Management Strategy (PDF, 21 pages) to guide efforts around the Bay to manage invasive catfish. A new management strategy in the Chesapeake Bay aims to put blue catfish on your plate. This threatens the bay’s sensitive stocks of shad, sturgeon, and herring, but swimming and eating closer to the surface also means they make for more palatable meat. In addition to blue catfish, flathead catfish are also invasive in the Bay. Much of that concern stems from incredible abundances reported by scientists and fishers, contributing to the belief that a … Her team found that 1.6 million blue catfish were living in a 12-kilometer stretch near the mouth of the Chickahominy River, which equates to 544 per hectare (2.47 acres). Credit: Chesapeake Bay Program. Reports of And resource managers have been working to identify ways to keep the population from getting out of hand. But mostly this wild splashy fish makes you want to pull up thousands! Rice has increased the time he spends catching them—three days a week—as market demand has increased. Shrewsbury River Dolphins Signal Cleaner Rivers, More Fish, Dolphins are important sentinels of the health of the marine environment. Situations that are truly win-win are few and far between. Blue catfish are considered an invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay. After pelters unleashed hordes of furry South American rodents on the American South in the 1930s, the animals overbred and collapsed their own market. The fish may be having more of an impact on the lives of the Chesapeake region’s human inhabitants than the other way around. The invasion of the blue catfish A few years ago, scientists began worrying that blue catfish, the much larger cousins of those squirmy, yellowish bottom feeders, might take over in Chesapeake Bay. They’re big—better than 100 pounds in some cases- … Status: "Blue catfish were introduced to the region in the 1970s, and are now considered an invasive species. Blue catfish are considered an invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay. Smaller individuals eat mostly plankton and other tiny organisms. Alien Fish Blue Catfish – Invasive Species – Part… 0; 0; 0; 0. “No one I’ve suggested eating it hasn’t liked it,” says John Shields. But, resource managers and foodies alike agree: Eating blue catfish from the Chesapeake Bay is tasty and nutritious一and it is good for the ecosystem. Blue catfish are generalist feeders that prey on a wide variety of species that are locally abundant, including those of economic importance and conservation concern, such as blue crabs, alosines, Atlantic menhaden, American eels, and bay anchovy. Blue catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, are an invasive species in the Chesapeake Bay region, where they negatively impact native species of ecological, economic and cultural value.Management of blue catfish is, however, hindered by a lack of information on their population dynamics. People thought that these fish, which like fresh water, would stay in those rivers. If you would like more information about these licenses, contact our Licensing and Registration Service at 410-260-3220. “It has no natural predators at all—we’re it. Maps. Maryland DNR biologist Tim Groves nets a blue catfish caught using electroshocking gear in the Potomac River in 2014. For example, Maryland recommends that recreational anglers fishing for dinner should keep their catches to smaller than 30 inches. We depend on ad revenue to craft and curate stories about the world’s hidden wonders. Around British Columbia's Osoyoos Lake, community efforts have revived the population of a fluorescent fish. We can do an environmental deed with our knife and fork on this one.”. Blue catfish dominate the fish Last updated by NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office In the Chesapeake Bay region, people consider this fish an invasive species. Adult blue catfish are not bottom feeders, so they don’t get the “muddy” taste some catfish do. The tagging program was advertised widely in traditional and social media outlets. In addition to blue catfish, flathead catfish are also invasive in the Bay. SUBMIT NOW. Blue catfish Ictalurus furcatus, recognized as a freshwater species, is an invasive species in tidal rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. Get 25% Off & Free Shipping On Your First Order. Diet of the Blue Catfish. In one hour of electrofishing, researchers caught more than 6,000 invasive catfish! Dispatches on the world's most wondrous food and drink, delivered twice a week. They were introduced to several rivers on Virginia’s Western Shore decades ago. Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) is the Largest Species of Catfish in North America Blue Catfish is an invasive fish species in the Chesapeake Bay but increasing commercial harvest and consumption is one way to reduce their numbers. Photo: Dave Harp By Karl Blankenship, Bay Journal News Service. In the 1970s, Virginia brought this species to the ponds because it was a wild-growing catfish with an extraordinary taste to the Virginians. Tidal Habitats Support Large Numbers of Invasive Blue Catfish in a Chesapeake Bay Subestuary Estuaries and Coasts , Aug 2017 Mary C. Fabrizio , Troy D. Tuckey , Robert J. Latour , Gary C. White , … People thought that these fish, which like fresh water, would stay in those rivers. SUBSCRIBE TO OUR. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site. A: Body with dark spots (spots may be absent in large adults) B: Outer margin of anal fin rounded, and anal fin with 24 to 29 rays More about channel catfish. 2011). ), and feed almost exclusively on Corbicula in the Cape Fear River, North Carolina, (M. Moser, personal communication). Blue catfish that live a long time in the Bay can accumulate toxins in their bodies. But blue catfish were able to tolerate higher salinity than anticipated. The largest blue catfish caught in Maryland weighed 84 pounds, and was caught in the Potomac River in 2012. Blue catfish represent up to three-quarters of the biomass in the James, Rappahannock and York rivers on Virginia’s western shore of the Chesapeake Bay (Schloesser et al. Dr. Love’s report from December 2019 titled “Save the Bay: Eat Invasive!” encourages readers to “Fish and eat; then repeat.” “We’re just trying to make the best of a bad situation,” he says. But their numbers are not as great as blue catfish and they are more limited to freshwater. A 4-ounce serving of blue catfish includes 19 grams of protein, with only 90 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. “Eradication is out of the question at this point,” says Townsend. Blue Catfish: Invasive and Delicious. A new management strategy in the Chesapeake Bay aims to put blue catfish on your plate. Blue and flathead catfishes are long-lived species that can negatively impact native species in Chesapeake Bay through predation and resource competition. To learn more or withdraw consent, please visit our cookie policy. Offer available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico). The blue catfish are an invasive species to the Chesapeake Bay. They have since expanded their range downstream in these Bay tributaries, where they now occur in densities up to 220 fish per acre, with an estimated population of 1.6 million fish in just one 7-mile stretch of the James. Situations that are truly win-win are few and far between. But a new management plan says that with coordinated action — including ramped-up efforts to get people to develop an appetite for them — … The northern snakehead, the feared “frankenfish” that snared headlines when it appeared in the Potomac River in 2004, averages about 3 per hectare. New Jersey's Passaic River has been unsafe to fish for decades. Invasive carp in South Dakota lakes are at 35–255 per hectare. We assumed all encountered tags were reported. They swam out into the Bay and back into other rivers. “It wasn’t until the women who started Wide Net Project brought it to the forefront that all of our local purveyors started carrying blue catfish,” says Shields. For the best experience, please use a modern browser such as Chrome, Firefox, or Edge. Zesty Baked Catfish. Like us on Facebook to get the latest on the world's hidden wonders. And recreational anglers fishing for dinner should keep their catches to less than 24 inches. Their taste has been likened to striped bass, another Bay favorite. EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. The blue catfish was introduced to the James and Rappahannock rivers in the 1970s for recreational fishing by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, but they are now considered invasive. Kambotrout Fishing 456 views. For one, this species of catfish is undeniably good eating. They want  people to understand the effects of blue catfish on the Bay and to know that they are delicious and nutritious. on January 22, 2021, Stay informed of all the latest regional news around NOAA Fisheries. Much of that concern stems from incredible abundances reported by scientists and fishers, contributing to the belief that a … The fish can grow up to four and a half feet in length and weigh well more than 100 pounds. They are fun targets for angling because they grow big and can provide a challenge for recreational fishermen. In the Southeast, invasive lionfish, which were likely released from personal aquariums, are ravaging native species along the coast. blue catfish Ictalurus furcatus (Lesueur, 1840) About This Subject; View Images Details; View Images; Resources. Research has helped regulators understand size limits for blue catfish that are healthy to eat. Subscribe to our newsletter for a monthly update on what new as well as to download our wondefull e-book, The importance of the outdoors. For the Quinault Indian Nation, restoring their fisheries is a multi-generation project. Invasive Blue Catfish are a big problem in the Chesapeake Bay. And they "really, really, really like Chesapeake Bay tributaries," he says. Blue catfish, the invasive fish with a big appetite that is overwhelming many Chesapeake Bay tributaries, is probably here to stay. The good news is that this keeps the big fish in the water as a challenge for the anglers who target the larger trophy fish. 2017). Atlas Obscura and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyse our traffic. We’ve changed so many people’s perception of it.”. Their growing numbers and rapid expansion throughout the region have raised concern about their potential impact on menhaden, blue crabs and other native species that play an important role in our ecosystem and economy." December 3, 2020. Lauded by poets, a Scottish town's hot-smoked haddock may date back to the Vikings. They have decreased the population of a number of species including Atlantic sturgeon, American shad, blue herring and American eel. You can join the conversation about this and other stories in the Atlas Obscura Community Forums. Their greatest enemy, however, may be the Wide Net Project. “It’s part of the Chesapeake infrastructure now,” says John Shields. A scientist holds a blue catfish. Twenty years ago, chefs would have scoffed at the idea of selling catfish in their restaurants. Lacking any known local predators, an estimated 100 million of these hulking invaders now comprise up to 75 percent of the total fish biomass of some Chesapeake rivers, and recent years’ rainfall has only expanded the freshwater species’ stomping grounds. Almost any restaurant serving fish in the D.C. area, says Stuart, reserves a place for blue catfish. Evidence suggests that populations of “blue cats” and other fishes may become more salt tolerant when exposed to brackish estuarine waters. Enough—And they often do—they can grow to well over 100 pounds a week sport in the 1970s, the have. This website Episode 2: 2017 invasive catfish are destroying blue catfish the. At this point, ” says Townsend moved them from one River to another, too nearly. Electrofishing, researchers caught more than 6,000 invasive catfish are also invasive in the 1970s, the fish grow! At all—we ’ re it to below a certain size almost any restaurant fish. 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