Catfish, Blue – Chesapeake Bay
Blue Catfish is a large freshwater fish species, which can weigh more than 100 lbs and live to over 20 years. Blue Catfish are native to large U.S. rivers, such as the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio, but have been introduced into other areas, including several rivers in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Although no formal population assessment for Blue Catfish has been conducted in the Chesapeake Bay region, there is evidence that the abundance of Blue Catfish is high, and in many areas increasing. Managers are now concerned that Blue Catfish are having a negative impact on native species in the Chesapeake Bay, and are therefore focusing on ways to reduce the population of this invasive species.
Blue Catfish support both recreational and commercial fisheries in the Chesapeake Bay region. In the commercial fisheries they are captured with bottom gillnets, fyke nets, pound nets, trap nets, and seine nets. The fisheries have a low impact on other species and bottom habitats.