Tim Swisher, the Apple Grove hatchery manager, says one day you could feel one of these little guys on your line. "These fish are going to be 40 to the pound, so they're 4-5 inches in length and it would probably take 2 and a half to 3 years before they are catchable. Today we're draining a blue catfish pond, we stocked it with 48,600 and we're hoping to get 30-35,000 back."
Before they wound up rushing through the pipe, getting caught in a net and transferred to a stocking truck, they lived here in this big pond on the Apple Grove Hatchery grounds.
"We've been here since 2001, the blue catfish we've only been doing for 4 years. So the fish that you've stocked are already being caught in the Ohio and Kanawha? Yes, and we also stock the Little Kanawha." says Swisher.
These fish are quite different than the other fish you'll see at this hatchery, and raising them is also a different animal.
"All the catfish we feed those trout feed and most of the other fish we fertilize the pond to get the plankton to bloom and they feed on that and we drain them out on a smaller size, 2-3 inches." says Swisher.
Eventually some of these blue cats will go from these little guys to 150 pound monsters and it all started here in this pond in Mason County. For West Virginia Wildlife, I'm Patrick McMurtry, Eyewitness News.
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