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Traveler2586

Potomac River Flathead & Blue Catfish

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Saw this article in the local news paper and thought you may find it interesting.

 

"The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is asking that anglers not release [live] flathead or blue catfish back into local waters after they catch them."

 

You can read the article here:  http://www.somdnews.com/article/20140416/NEWS/140419512/1043/dnr-hoping-to-control-invasive-catfish-species&template=southernMaryland

 

I had a conversation with a Maryland DNR Police officer about Catch and [live] 0Release of invasive fish.

 

I was told two things you should know.

 

1. if you bring a fish inside the gunnels of your boat, you are now in possession of that fish. you own it. If you are seen releasing a live invasive into the water you can be fined, unless you are seen catching and unhooking the fish.  If you keep the fish outside the gunnels, unhook and release it, no problem, you were not in possession of the fish.

 

2. If you are found transporting a live invasive from where it was caught you could be fined.  There is no way of knowing your true intentions for the fish, you could be transporting it to a new body of water.

 

Best advice I can offer is check with your natural resource police on this subject for yourself.

 

Question: Do you know the four jurisdictions on the tidal Potomac? And where the boundaries are?

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Saw this article in the local news paper and thought you may find it interesting.

 

"The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is asking that anglers not release [live] flathead or blue catfish back into local waters after they catch them."

 

You can read the article here:  http://www.somdnews.com/article/20140416/NEWS/140419512/1043/dnr-hoping-to-control-invasive-catfish-species&template=southernMaryland

 

I had a conversation with a Maryland DNR Police officer about Catch and [live] 0Release of invasive fish.

 

I was told two things you should know.

 

1. if you bring a fish inside the gunnels of your boat, you are now in possession of that fish. you own it. If you are seen releasing a live invasive into the water you can be fined, unless you are seen catching and unhooking the fish.  If you keep the fish outside the gunnels, unhook and release it, no problem, you were not in possession of the fish.

 

2. If you are found transporting a live invasive from where it was caught you could be fined.  There is no way of knowing your true intentions for the fish, you could be transporting it to a new body of water.

 

Best advice I can offer is check with your natural resource police on this subject for yourself.

 

Question: Do you know the four jurisdictions on the tidal Potomac? And where the boundaries are?

I don't like the idea of eating anything that comes out of the Potomac, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. 

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I don't like the idea of eating anything that comes out of the Potomac, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. 

 

X2,  I know something of the history of the Potomac; and even though Pres. Johnson started the cleanup of the river with the Clean Waters Act back in the 60's, I don't think we'll ever truly get red of the heavy metals and so on that's imbedded in the muck.  At one time the Potomac was known as the Nations Sewer.

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They found there way into the water up here.

 

I am willing to bet that the catfish nation guys had a hand in that?

 

The lower Potomac tournaments I fish I always seem to catch a blue cat on something so I thought they were native to that part of the river?

 

Allen

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If I can help it I don't bring any Catfish into my boat, I'll unhook them on the side cause I don't want to deal with the slime :(

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If I can help it I don't bring any Catfish into my boat, I'll unhook them on the side cause I don't want to deal with the slime :(

Maybe there should be a big catfish derby on the Potomac, and all catfish caught get stocked in a small lake somewhere... Make it a pay lake haha

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Maybe there should be a big catfish derby on the Potomac, and all catfish caught get stocked in a small lake somewhere... Make it a pay lake haha

 

Are there any Pay Lakes around any more?  When I was a kid we would go to a lake (a very large pond now that I'm grown) where you could fish, cook, and eat your catch.  They had all kinds of pan fish in that lake. :)

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Here's one a buddy of mine caught last week on the Potomac, he caught 4 others about the same size within the last week:

post-42924-0-18092800-1399247183_thumb.j

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if you bring a fish inside the gunnels of your boat, you are now in possession of that fish. you own it. If you are seen releasing a live invasive into the water you can be fined, unless you are seen catching and unhooking the fish.  If you keep the fish outside the gunnels, unhook and release it, no problem, you were not in possession of the fish.

 

 

Thanks for the heads up Traveler.  I wouldn't want the headache of going through this, but if ticketed for such a thing, I'd wonder if a judge would think in court about someone bringing a case to him about being fined for the crime of catching a big blue cat or other invasive fish, taking a quick picture while in his or her boat, and then a quick release.  It seems pretty petty to me.  There is no more harm to the environment if the fish released in the same location of where it was caught after a minute or two regardless of what part of the boat it was released from.  

 

I can understand the concept behind catch and release of protected fish during a closed season, not bringing them into the boat, for the protection of those fish and to increase their chances at survival.  Bit this is a bit ridiculous, if enforced.

 

Anyway, I appreciate the fact that you shared this with us, because it will be in the back of my mind.

 

From a management standpoint, unfortunately, these fish are here to stay, and I suspect that in time the laws will ease a bit.  Already, the concept of having to keep and kill all of the snakeheads by law has changed, that you can keep (and have to kill) or release them, rather than always having to kill them.

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I agree that it is somewhat ridiculous to try to enforce, but there are many aspects to the subject that are entwined in law enforcement requirements that I don't begin to understand.

 

But one I do understand is there are no current predators for these fish and the DNR wants the anglers to be "the predators" and help reduce their numbers.

 

True, the damage has been done, and can not realistically be undone by man, all we can do is remove as many of the fish as possible - which we have proven we can do, as was done with other species in years past.

 

Another aspect to this is underscored by a comment made by a DNR Officer who said "we could not know if you were returning or stocking the fish" when talking about returning a fish to the water after it was caught, or introducing a new fish into the river; I'm sure there are many things they look for in trying to determine your intensions.  Traveling with live invasive fish in a live-well is a big no - no as I'm told.

 

Bottom line is anglers should take the time to understand and stay current with the laws of the waters they fish or they could have an upsetting encounter with an officer.

 

Personally, I don't want to pull a Catfish or Snakehead into my boat just so I won't have to clean up the slime.  I'll try to take care of business outside of the gunnel and unhook the fish so they can feed the wildlife.

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