If anglers catch flathead catfish in the Susquehanna or Schuylkill River basins, they are encouraged to take them and not release them, regardless of size.
August 2009 -- A flathead catfish is caught at the Dock Street Dam (Susquahanna River) in Harrisburg, the 1st confirmed catch at this location.
July 2005 -- Flathead catfish have been confirmed in the Susquehanna River downstream of the tail-waters of the York Haven Dam.
July 2002 -- Flathead catfish, which are native to western Pennsylvania waters, have been caught in the Susquehanna and Schuylkill river drainages in recent years. In July 2002, a number of small flathead catfish were caught downstream of Safe Harbor Dam. Based on the observation of flathead catfish populations observed thus far in the Delaware River Basin and Schuylkill River Basin, it is expected that these fish will become part of the fish community in the Susquehanna. Their populations should not be overwhelming. The source of the flatheads found in the Susquehanna River is unknown.
Flathead catfish populations were identified in Southeastern Pennsylvania in 1997 at Blue Marsh Reservoir. Based on the age and size of the fish taken at Blue Marsh, it likely they had been in the reservoir for some time.
Flathead have also been seen in several other impoundments and in the Schuylkill River and Delaware River. Reproducing populations of flathead catfish have been documented in the Schuylkill River Basin. A few flathead catfish have been reported from the Fairmont Dam fishway on the Schuylkill River each year since 1999. The current populations in the Schuylkill River Basin and Delaware River Basin are sparse, but a directed fishery is developing on sections of the Schuylkill and Springton Reservoir.
The flathead catfish is not a new species of fish to Pennsylvania, but the presence of these fish in river basins where they have not occurred in the past is a matter of interest and some concern (view our Aquatic Invasive Species page for more).
On western Pennsylvania waters where these fish are native, anglers find flatheads an attractive sport fish and good table fare. Although angling is not expected to eliminate or control abundance of flatheads in the eastern Pennsylvania waters where they have now been found, anglers can help. If anglers catch flathead catfish in the Susquehanna or Schuylkill River basins, they are encouraged to take them and not release them, regardless of size. Flathead catfish are subject to the same regulations as other catfish covered by Commonwealth Inland Regulations -- no minimum size limit, 50 per day creel limit and no closed season.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Flathead Catfish, Susquehanna's Invasive Species
I was just reading over this on the PA Fish and Boat Commission's website...