In June 2013, the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Invasive Catfish Task Force released a draft report and recommendations on non-native Blue Catfish and Flathead Catfish in the Bay watershed. The report examines impacts of these species, especially the Blue Catfish, which has developed a large and expanding population that can infringe on habitat and food sources for native species of fish and shellfish, such as White Catfish, river shad, mussels, and Blue Crabs. The task force’s draft report is available online at http://chesapeakebay.noaa.gov/fisheries-hot-topics/invasive-catfish-task-force-recommendations.
As of September 2014, the task force’s recommendations for managing invasive catfish—including promotion of a commercial Blue Catfish fishery—were under consideration by the Bay Program’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee; minutes of that group’s September 9-10, 2014, meeting, including its discussion of invasive catfish, are available online at http://www.chesapeake.org/stac/meeting.php?activity_id=228.
For more information on this issue, try the following:
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Web site, “Invasive Catfish,” at http://chesapeakebay.noaa.gov/fish-facts/invasive-catfish.
“Task force looking for ways to control invasive blue catfish,” September 2014 issue of Bay Journal, online at http://www.bayjournal.com/article/task_force_looking_for_ways_to_control_invasive_blue_catfish (or contact Bay Journal at (717) 428-2819; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Blue and Flathead Catfish Invade the Chesapeake Bay,” July 14, 2014, NOAA Fisheries Website at http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2014/07/7_14_14invasive_catfish_chesapeake_bay.html, accessed 10/14/14.