Population Characteristics of Channel Catfish in Meeker Reservoir, Oklahoma, a Small Impoundment

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Graham F. Montague
Richard A. Snow
Alexis Whiles


Channel Catfish are a popular sportfish throughout North America and agencies often support put-grow-take fisheries for Channel Catfish in small impoundments. The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation (ODWC) stocks impoundments throughout Oklahoma with Channel Catfish to provide anglers with catfishing opportunities. Meeker Reservoir (85.8 ha) is a small impoundment located in central Oklahoma that has been historically stocked with Channel Catfish. Uniquely, Meeker Reservoir also has a naturally reproducing population of Blue Catfish that is stunted. Sampling information for Meeker Reservoir is limited and preliminary analysis suggested that Channel Catfish were also stunted. Therefore, our objective was to describe the population characteristics of Channel Catfish in Meeker Reservoir using both 25-mm and 12.5-mm mesh tandem, baited hoop net sets. The Channel Catfish in Meeker Reservoir were stunted, slow growing, dominated by stock size individuals, and had relatively low mortality. Low reservoir productivity, ODWC Channel Catfish stocking rates, and high Channel Catfish and Blue Catfish abundances may be contributing to their slow growth. Additional research should focus on examining the interspecific competition of Blue Catfish and Channel Catfish, potential environmental factors that lead to Channel Catfish recruitment, and angler dynamics of Channel Catfish in small impoundments.

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Applied Ecology & Conservation