Monday, August 15, 2011

Blue Catfish vs. Channel Catfish

When monster blue cats are landed, there is no mistaking which species they are but when smaller individuals are caught, identification is not as obvious.

Blue catfish are similar in appearance to channel catfish, however young blue catfish do not exhibit the “freckled” coloration that is characteristic of young channel catfish.

Another identifying feature is the anal fin. The edge of the anal fin of the blue catfish forms a straight line and is longer than that of channel catfish, which is curved.

Both species are caught in rivers and lakes throughout much of North America.

New York State Record Brook Trout

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has certified Dan Germain as the new holder of the state record for brook trout.

The record setting brook trout measured 22 inches and weighed in at 5 pounds, 8 ounces, surpassing the previous state record set in 2009 by 3.5 ounces.

Mr. Germain submitted details of his winning fish as part of DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program. Information about the Program, including past winners and a downloadable application form, can be found on DEC's website.

source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Sunday, August 14, 2011

How Old Do Largemouth Bass Get?

According to a Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Fisheries Biologist, a local angler may have caught and released the oldest largemouth bass in Montana. The bass might also be one of the oldest surviving largemouth bass in North America.

10-year old Garrett Frost of Kalispell caught and released a tagged largemouth bass in Rose Creek Slough on July 16, 2011. The fish was estimated to be 20-22 inches in length and weigh approximately 3.5 lbs.

Prior to releasing the fish, the angler spotted a tag on the fish and recovered it. Fishery Worker Jon Cavigli checked the database and found that the bass had carried this floy tag for 14 years.

According to Garret’s father, Tyler, the bass appeared to be in good condition, and weighed 3-1/2 pounds on his scale.

According to the tag information, the bass was caught and tagged by Phil Rivard in Fennon Slough on October 3, 1997. At that time the fish was 14.2” long and weighed 1.5 lbs.

Based on the size of the largemouth bass in 1997 and the age-growth database, Deleray estimates that the fish was probably 5 years old when tagged. Adding that age with how long the tag was in the fish places its age at 19 years old. This may be the oldest confirmed largemouth bass reported in Montana.

Most sources place the maximum age at 15 or 16 for largemouth bass in the northern United States. Deleray is contacting other fisheries biologists, and, so far, has not found any records of largemouth bass as old as the Rose Creek Slough bass.

Largemouth bass in Montana are at the northern edge of their range. Fish tend to grow slower and live longer in the cold waters found in Montana and other northern states.

source: Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Fisheries

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What is KHV?

Koi herpesvirus (KHV) is a disease that affects fish such as common carp, goldfish and koi. The impact of KHV on native minnow species of North America is not fully known.

KHV disease is found worldwide and likely was introduced in North America from the release or escape of infected ornamental fish.

KHV is suspected to be the cause of a June 2011 fish kill which involved an estimated 300 to 500 common carp in Michigan.

"This virus is capable of large-scale common carp die-offs as seen in Ontario in 2007 and 2008," said Gary Whelan, DNR Fish Production Manager. "The virus is an internationally reportable disease, and it is being officially reported at this time."

source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources