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Maryland Catfish Tournaments Offer Invasive Species Angling

With record catches around the country tipping the scales at more than a hundred pounds, blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) have become quite the draw for anglers in the Chesapeake Bay. Introduced in the 1970s as a recreational fishing target species in Virginia, invasive blue catfish populations have grown rapidly in Maryland waters. As commercial harvests of blue catfish have risen exponentially, recreational fishing for the species is becoming more popular as a way to enjoy a day angling as well as bring plenty of fish home for dinner. Commercial landings of blue catfish have grown from 609,525 pounds in 2013 to 4.2 million pounds in 2023, more than a 500% increase in the past decade. The fish is increasingly showing up on menus and in grocery stores, helping it to become more appealing as table fare. This year, avid anglers can fill their calendars with tournaments to try to catch the biggest and most blue catfish. There are no fishing restrictions on the species. In fact, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources is urging anglers to catch as many blue catfish as possible and remove them from the water. Blue catfish stomach studies have determined the invasive fish are eating large quantities […]

The post Maryland Catfish Tournaments Offer Invasive Species Angling appeared first on Southern Maryland News Net.

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