Observations of a Vertical Foraging Behavior of Blue Catfish in Lake Ellsworth, Oklahoma

Richard A. Snow, Michael J. Porta, Ryan G. Ryswyk

Abstract


Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) are the largest catfish found in Oklahoma and are native to the Red River and Lower Arkansas River (Miller and Robison 2004). Blue Catfish are now found in many areas of the state because the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) stocked Blue Catfish into many impoundments due to their popularity as a sport fish (Miller and Robison 2004, Snow et al. 2017). Blue Catfish are considered omnivorous due to their very diverse diet, often consuming vegetation, mollusks, insects, and crustaceans, with larger individuals shifting to piscivory (Schmitt et al 2017, Jennings et al. 2018). Their diverse forging ecology is likely caused by seasonal habitats shifts and opportunistic feeding strategy on abundant prey species (Magoulick and Lewis 2002, Jolley and Irwin 2003, Jennings et al.
2018)

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