Blue Catfish in DeSoto Bend

Discussion in 'Fishing General' started by blake, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. blake

    blake Life Member

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    Toledo, IA
    From the Iowa DNR website:


    Iowa DNR Stocks 10,000 Blue Catfish in DeSoto Bend

    Something new is swimming in DeSoto Bend. Make that lots of somethings new.

    On Sept. 19, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released 10,000 3-6-inch blue catfish in the 810-acre lake on the Pottawattamie-Harrison county line to learn about the popular trophy fish and to establish a brood population that could produce fish to be stocked in other Iowa waters.

    Iowa is on the northern edge of the fish’s natural range. Blue catfish are occasionally caught in the Missouri River from the Missouri state line north to Council Bluffs, and in the lower pools of the Mississippi River.

    Blue catfish are extremely popular in Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and states south. The species is the focus of television shows, magazines and have guide services with the sole purpose of helping anglers catch these monsters.

    Why? Because they can grow big. Really big. The current Iowa record blue catfish is 101 pounds.

    “There is a lot of excitement with a fish of that size,” said Chris Larson, southern Iowa regional fisheries supervisor for the Iowa DNR.

    Larson said the experimental stocking has been on the DNR’s radar for some time. He said they have had requests by anglers to establish a blue catfish fishery but since Iowa does not produce any, they had to wait until a neighboring state had a surplus supply. When Missouri called, the DNR was ready.

    “We are going to learn a lot from this stocking. How fast do they grow? How long until they can successfully spawn?” he said.

    For now, the small blue catfish will resemble its cousin the channel catfish only in appearance – its bluish gray in color with few, if any, spots. They actively feed on live organisms like its other cousin the flathead catfish – mussels, crayfish and fish.

    “It will probably be three years or so until this becomes a fishable population and another 6-10 years to know if we have established a brood population here,” Larson said.

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