Blue Fat Cats are Taking Over!

Written by Dave Mercer on October 18, 2010

Blue Catfish populations are exploding in Virginia waters and they’re BIG too.  In 2009 a 102lb fat cat was caught!  The problem is these fat cats are taking over and eating all the native species.  We may be able to help, please refer to “pick me, pick me” for our references.  One thing that we do know for certain, you won’t be blue after fighting these FAT cats all day!

When a fisheries biologist in charge of monitoring fish populations in tidal rivers in Virginia says  “extremely overabundant populations” and “going through the roof” to describe the vast numbers of blue catfish”, it’s probably worth the trip.

Forty years ago, blue catfish like Ali’s midnight monster and the haul in Oliff’s boat did not exist in Virginia’s tidal rivers.

The state fishery biologists who transplanted the species in the 1970s from the Mississippi to the Rappahannock and James rivers could hardly have imagined the eventual results of their work.

By 2009, a 102-pound blue cat had been caught in the James, a multimillion-dollar trophy fishery had been created, commercial fishermen were netting more than 1.5 million pounds a year in the Rappahannock, Potomac and other tidal rivers, and concerns were mounting that the explosive growth of blue-catfish populations threatened native fish.

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