"I would get that again," she said. The Bay Journal has a fascinating article on blue catfish and the threat they bring to the Chesapeake. 06 Jun 2019. Since then, the toothed fish capable of breathing in air has become established in much of the Potomac, though its spread has been otherwise limited amid campaigns to educate the public and promote the harvesting and consumption of snakehead. shad, river herring, , they will consume more native Bay fish. Catfish also seem well adapted to disturbed ecosystems near urban areas, such as Richmond and Newport News. Whole Foods is now selling blue catfish in their stores, which is a great way to get the public involved in helping the Chesapeake Bay by eating this delicious invader. Meanwhile, the meandering channel of the tidal river and its freshwater marshes support strong populations of both species of perch, several sunfish (locally known as bream), largemouth bass, black crappie, chain pickerel, and blue, channel, and white catfish. Studies are currently underway to determine their impact on other aquatic species. Their backs and sides are often an olive or light brown color with darker mottles or specks. In the Chesapeake Bay region, blue and flathead catfish may harm species such as American shad and blueback herring in rivers from Virginia to Pennsylvania. Blue Catfish were introduced to tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay in the 1970s and 1980s to establish new fisheries, but their presence h... How to avoid getting duped by online catfish tales Once every couple months while scrolling through my Facebook feed, I'm inspired to put on my detective cap. The 710,000-acre watershed of the Nanticoke drains a third of Delaware’s land surface, then a huge chunk of the lower Eastern Shore of Maryland on its 50-mile journey to the Chesapeake Bay. Matt Rath/Chesapeake Bay Program. A dark line often runs along the side of the fish. Catfishing tips. The channel catfish usually grows to about two feet in length, but can be as long as four feet and weigh more than 50 pounds. The number of anal fin rays is 30 to 35. The state record white catfish (Chesapeake division) is 8.27 lbs. Blue catfish, which were first introduced by Virginia officials to the James River for sport fishing, might number more than 100 million in the Chesapeake Bay now, researchers say. For the nonprofit Wide Net Project, promoting blue catfish catch is about both protecting the environment and feeding people who are hungry. Scientists say they don't have enough information to predict whether and how the catfish might be throwing bay ecosystems out of whack. All other catfish species have rounded anal fins. Commercial watermen in Maryland and Virginia harvested more than 5 million pounds of them in 2017 — almost twice as much as the states’ combined striped bass commercial harvest. The Chesapeake Bay region may be home to roughly 100 million hungry blue catfish — with plenty of room for their numbers to expand, according to a recent estimate. Slender body with spots on juveniles or small adults. Thomas said most customers are "pleasantly surprised" by what he describes as the cleaner flavor of blue catfish. They were introduced to several rivers on Virginia’s Western Shore decades ago. The commercial blue catfish harvest around the Bay last year totaled more than 5 million pounds, while striped bass harvests were less than 3 million. As an introduced species, blue catfish are now commonly found in the tidal Potomac River and some of the other tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay. Four pairs of light, whisker-like barbels appear around its mouth. (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore Sun video). Chin barbels are pale or white. 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