Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Update On That Catfish

I used some photo's of a rather large catfish for the PhotoHunt weekly theme of 'dark' a several weeks ago so I thought I would update you on the catfish. Of course there is no way to tell exactly how many catfish there are in the pond, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there is only one the size of that one I caught and returned to the pond.

Channel catfish do not reproduce very well in small ponds unless they have suitable nesting sites. They need cavity type structures such as holes in a bank, rock formations, or perhaps old downed trees with holes or protected areas under them.

We have not added any structure to simulate this environment in the pond so any of the large catfish could possibly be from the original stocking of the pond (or perhaps the rare second generation) and that was years ago. GG stocked with some small catfish during the spring, but it will likely take several more months before they reach a respectable size of 1 to 2 pounds.

During the summer a very large catfish would come up to eat with the carp, turtles, and smaller fish. We would only see one at the time and as you can see it is appears healthy and hungry.

And here is a very short video of the catfish chowing down on the fish food.

Please Note: This video includes audio that can be adjusted on the video. The audio is not excessively loud, but you may want to adjust the initial volume settings depending on your situation. Also, you can view a full-screen version by selecting the small icon immediately to the left of 'vimeo' in the bottom right corner of the video block. You can return to the normal view by pressing [Esc].

Catfish from BakerWatson on Vimeo.
Hopefully next year we will have many more catfish coming up to eat. A steady diet of high-protein food can double their growth rate in the first few years. If we stock new fingerlings next spring I expect we will use some type of enclosed cages to protect them from predators during the first weeks/months. This will also give us a chance to feed them regularly to promote faster growth before we release them into the pond.


  1. I like the cat fish, they have such interesting faces..........

  2. He is a nice big fish. I hope the young ones survive and flourish like he has done.

  3. I tried 4 times to post a comment and now I am trying with internet explorer. This particular type of comment posting always gives me Baker I will always read your posts, but I'm not so keen on having to open a new browser everytime...Sorry...

  4. Michelle - I don't blame you. I wouldn't want to go through the trouble of opening another browser either.

    I'm not sure what the issue is. I've never had a problem in posting to the embedded comments on anyone's blog. And I actually tested the embedded comments for this blog in different browsers and didn't experience a problem. Of course I can't test it under some of the different 'Comment As' selections since I don't have accounts under some of them.

    Actually I find it a bit easier than opening a new window or tab, but that is neither here nor there if other people are having problems commenting here on this blog. I will try to do a bit of research on the issue to determine what the problem may be.


  5. Your video clips at Vimeo are superb!

  6. Hi Baker...only a face a mother would love!! We don't have catfish in our pond, although my hubby added a couple of downed trees to the pond. When I was a child and fished...I remember getting "stung" by one of these! Great shot!

  7. Thanks Cosmos - Glad you enjoyed them

    Kim - I think some catfish are among the few venomous fresh water fish - The venom is in their hard spiny fins that they stick out as a protective measure when agitated or attacked - Those fins can inflict a painful sting if one is not careful in handling them - The pain can persist for hours or even a couple of days but it is not normally serious - It is possible, however, that if the puncture wound is deep enough and bacteria is introduced the wound can become infected causing long term problems - Handling them safely is not too hard except when they are as large as those in the photo

  8. We used to fish for those in the river when I was a kid. This brings back a lot of fond memories. They could indeed hurt you with their fins, but I don't know if they were venomous or just sharp. Are you planning to catch them to eat, or just keeping them as pond pets?

    Great video! Vimeo quality is so much better than YouTube.

  9. Interesting, I remember working with 'Catfish' when I was in University, we need to feed, raise them.. I think the species differs from yours yet generally quite the same. pangasius something.. I think. Nice clip. =)

  10. Opps..sorry, should be Clarias gariepinus, perhaps nobody bothers. hihi..


Thanks for stopping by to visit our little pond. We would love to see you again real soon.