Blue catfish showing promise at Cheney Reservoir

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About 10,000 blue catfish have been stocked into Cheney Reservoir annually since 2006; however, the success of
these stockings has been relatively unknown. Periodic reports from anglers are received, and catches in standard gill
net samples usually amount to around10-20 fish each year. Generally, the best gear for collecting large numbers of
blue catfish is a specialized kind of electrofishing, which is far different
from the electrofishing technique used to capture other fishes like bass
and walleye. This method effectively stuns blue catfish in water up to 40
feet deep, and is most effective in late summer. In previous years, very
few blue catfish were sampled with this technique at Cheney Reservoir;
however, during sampling this summer, large schools of over a hundred
blue catfish were observed while electrofishing. These blue catfish varied
from five inches to 20 pounds. Some anglers have even patterned
blue catfish and have had success catching a few. Remember, as this
fishery develops, blue catfish are protected by a 35-inch minimum
length limit. Since blue and channel catfish look very similar, be sure of
your catfish identification. For identification tips, visit this link.

Source: Jeff Koch, District Fisheries Biologist

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