Dave Wellman, a biologist with the division, explains. "We have three main catfish species that are used recreationally, channel, flat head, and blue catfish that was recently re-introduced. We have twelve catfish species throughout the state."
But the three biggies are the ones you'll want to catch when you go out cat fishing. Of the three, blue cats get to be the biggest, and thanks to the stocking program, they're getting easier to find.
"As far was we can tell, we've been doing this study for the past three years, blue catfish seem to be more and more populated throughout the river, both through surveys and catfish tournaments, the entire rate of catch for blue catfish. We've gone to several catfish tournaments and while we are there we do tag them with two different types of tags." says Wellman.
If you catch one of the tagged blue cats, call the DNR so they can use the data in their management program. And in case you're not sure if you have caught a blue cat, if it's tagged, it's a blue.
"Blue catfish are the only catfish we stock in the Ohio River. Channel and flat head reproduce on their own, we get good populations of both. Blue catfish disappeared from the Ohio due to locks and dams, water pollution through the years and about five years ago we started to re-introduce the blue catfish." says Wellman.
As you can see, the program is working, we caught a couple of nice ones even on one of the hottest days of the year. October is one of the best months for cat fishing, so get out there and try your luck!
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