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SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
Tuesday, October 23 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
SYMPOSIUM-05: Invasive Flathead Catfish in Coastal North Carolina: The Balance Between Angler Desires and Conservation Needs

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AUTHORS: Ben Ricks, Courtney Buckley – North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

ABSTRACT: Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris are a non-native, invasive species on the Atlantic Slope. Native species including White Catfish Ameiurus catus, bullhead catfishes Ameiurus sp, and the Carolina Madtom Noturus furiosus (which is federally listed as a species of concern and state listed in North Carolina as threatened) have decreased in abundance since Flathead Catfish have become established in North Carolina’s coastal rivers. Flathead Catfish are competing and preying upon North Carolina’s native fish populations causing conservation concerns. Concurrently, catfish angling, especially trophy catfish angling, has grown in popularity. Catfish angler desires are sometimes in conflict or perceived to conflict with native species conservation strategies. Many catfish anglers have started a CPR (Catch, Photograph, Release) campaign, and have requested a trophy catfish regulation to promote the abundance of larger fish or preserve the available large fish. Despite the desire by certain anglers for protective length limits, the Flathead Catfish populations in coastal North Carolina can be characterized as experiencing low mortality and exploitation. The length and age distributions of Flathead Catfish in North Carolina’s coastal rivers indicate expanded size and age distributions. With no regulatory harvest limits currently in place, Flathead catfish populations are exhibiting fast growth, adequate recruitment, and showing no indication of overfishing. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is revising its Catfish Management Plan to take into consideration angler desires, resource needs, and available biological data. Coastal rivers are surveyed regularly (2-3 years) to maintain data sets useful for describing population changes for native and invasive species.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Grand Bay II

Attendees (6)