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Thread: El Dorado Reservoir Blue Catfish Tagging Project Underway

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    Craig Johnson's Avatar
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    Default El Dorado Reservoir Blue Catfish Tagging Project Underway


    Just an FYI in case you guys run in to tagged fish or people wondering about tagged fish at El Dorado.

    Thanks,

    Craig




    Blue Catfish Tagging Project Underway at El Dorado


    Blue catfish – native to major river basins in eastern Kansas – can reach massive sizes. Kansas’ current state record was caught from the Missouri River, weighing in at more than 100 pounds. As blue catfish populations become established in Kansas’ largest reservoirs, popularity of this species among anglers also continues to grow. One such growing fishery can be found in El Dorado Reservoir.


    While many anglers might associate El Dorado Reservoir with monster walleye, hard-fighting wipers, or slab crappie, blue catfish are developing a following in the 8,000-acre impoundment. Blue catfish were introduced into El Dorado Reservoir in 2004 to establish an additional predatory fish population and to provide anglers with a new sport fishing opportunity. Annual stockings occurred for six years, creating a population that first exhibited natural recruitment in 2009. As the population grew, it became apparent that the fishery would benefit from harvest of smaller fish. In 2016, KDWPT implemented a 25- to 35-inch protected slot length limit, five fish daily creel limit, and a maximum of two fish over 35 inches.


    As with any new regulation, data is needed to gauge effectiveness. To collect this data, KDWPT Fisheries biologists are tagging up to 2,000 blue catfish in El Dorado Reservoir. Tags will appear as a small yellow vinyl tube beneath the fish’s dorsal fin. Each tag will display an ID number unique to that fish and a phone number to call to report the catch, (620) 342-0658. Biologists hope to gain information about the area’s blue catfish population size, entrainment through the dam, and the fish’s susceptibility to harvest.


    Success of this project is dependent on anglers reporting the tagged fish they capture. Information needed during the call will be the length of the fish, date, tag number, and whether the fish was kept or released. Anglers who report their tagged catch will receive an award as compensation for their participation.


    Anglers should note that tagged blue catfish that are not legal for harvest must be returned to the water immediately after recording the tag information. If the tagged catfish is legal for harvest, anglers may keep or release the fish. Because part of this study is to evaluate harvest patterns, biologists encourage anglers not to let the presence of a tag influence their decision to keept or release the fish.


    If you find a tagged blue catfish on the end of your line this summer, please take the time to call it in. Data collected from these fish are invaluable to fisheries biologists and will only improve angling success in the future.
    Thanks JD1, Crappie Chatt thanked you for this post

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    Caught a small 18" tagged blue yesterday. The area of the fish around the tag was an open wound like the tag had been slicing up and down. Just wondering if this is normal or does the fish normally heal up around the tag? This particular fish was in rough shape and was missing an eye.
    Dev

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowboat View Post
    Caught a small 18" tagged blue yesterday. The area of the fish around the tag was an open wound like the tag had been slicing up and down. Just wondering if this is normal or does the fish normally heal up around the tag? This particular fish was in rough shape and was missing an eye.
    The open wound is not normal. Fish usually heal up around the tags, but that fish may have had some other issues going on that were affecting its ability to heal well.

    Did you report the tag # to the phone number on the tag? We are still tracking these fish at El Dorado!!

    Thanks!

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    Thank you for the info!
    since the one I caught my buddy caught a Tagged 22”.
    so I had get mine reported.
    Dev
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowboat View Post
    Thank you for the info!
    since the one I caught my buddy caught a Tagged 22”.
    so I had get mine reported.
    Excellent! Thanks for reporting the tags!!

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