Texas Catfish Could Be in Danger of Over-Fishing
Don’t mess with Texas catfish – that’s the cry from anglers in the state who’ve answered overwhelmingly that they favor greater restrictions on the take of large fish from area lakes.
In a survey of catfish anglers conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife on Lake Tawakoni, just east of Dallas, 85 percent said they favored reducing the harvest of large blue catfish.
Restrictions currently vary between the states lakes. Some allow one fish over 30 inches to be kept, others have a so-called slot limit where only fish between 30-45 inches can be kept.
“There was discussion of having more restrictive regulation .. the vast majority were supportive of it,” said Kevin Storey of the TPW Inland Fisheries, “They felt, left unchecked, people would continue to remove the large fish.”
Those large fish are a big draw to the states lakes. A five fish haul of catfish weighed in at a combined 217-plus pounds and took the title at this year’s King Kat tournament at Lake Tawakoni. Giant bags like that are bringing more and more anglers from all over the country, Storey said.
“People come from Canada and throughout North American specifically to Lake Tawakoni to fish for large catfish,” Storey said, “Just seeing that weight of fish in a single day has generated a lot of interest.”