Question to any catfish farmers

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Jogeephus
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Question to any catfish farmers

Postby Jogeephus » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:05 pm

I rencently put in a catfish pond and have it stocked to the guidelines with chanel catfish. Been blue/grey herons visiting the pond about the time the feeder cranks up. Yesterday I found one with a 10" fish in his mouth. After imobilizing the bird, I tried to free the fish but he had a puncture thru its head.

Question. How bad are these birds on a pond? How many do they eat a day? I know I shouldn't immobilize the birds since I'm sure its illegal but I am hoping to use the pond for recreational purposes for some elder folks and don't want anything messing with my plans. Any advice would be appreciated. Am just getting on the learning curve on this one. :oops:
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Postby Beef11 » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:29 pm

If i were you then you'd be me which would be a big mess. I would limit the birds ability to eat fish through rapid lead therapy. a small well placed dosage would allow the culprit to exit the premises before feeling the symptoms thus alleviating the fish cops needs to harass you on the matter. Savvy
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Postby Arnold Ziffle » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:30 pm

Jo, I'm not a catfish farmer but when I stocked my pond the herons, etc. were there darn near every evening that I went out to the place to feed & probably were there much of the morning as well. I'm confident they ate A LOT of fingerlings. Can't remember where I read this, and it might be a hocus pocus story, but supposedly one university or state fish & game dept. did a study by stocking a certain number of fingerlings in a catfish pond and took no measures to control predation by herons, cormorants, anhingas, etc. -- the result was almost total devastation of the fish population!

Anyway, one thing I've heard and read about (but never tried) is to get some field fence, rabbit wire, etc. and attach it to stakes in the shallow part, all along of the shoreline, but where it is in the water. Apparently the herons like to land on land ( :lol: ) and then proceed to walk into the water to hunt for their prey. The wire stops them, as they won't hop over it and can't go through it.

I hope MikeC can chime in on this, as I think he raises some cats for commercial purposes. Maybe Macon can shed some light -- I think one of his many pursuits is catfish farming.
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Re: Question to any catfish farmers

Postby MikeC » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:34 pm

Jogeephus wrote:I rencently put in a catfish pond and have it stocked to the guidelines with chanel catfish. Been blue/grey herons visiting the pond about the time the feeder cranks up. Yesterday I found one with a 10" fish in his mouth. After imobilizing the bird, I tried to free the fish but he had a puncture thru its head.

Question. How bad are these birds on a pond? How many do they eat a day? I know I shouldn't immobilize the birds since I'm sure its illegal but I am hoping to use the pond for recreational purposes for some elder folks and don't want anything messing with my plans. Any advice would be appreciated. Am just getting on the learning curve on this one. :oops:


The herons aren't that bad but do eat quite a few a day. Depends on the number of birds around the pond. One or two birds won't hurt much, just don't let them invite their friends!

It's the Cormorants that will eat you completely out of fish.

That new 22-250 will do a good job of "Immobilization"! :lol:
Last edited by MikeC on Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby oscar p » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:34 pm

We have a minnow farm in the next town from us, They went under after the father passed. A chinese company bought it a couple of years after that and raised gold fish. There was a write up in the paper about the herons eating them out of buiness. They got a permit from the state to kill them. They could only kill 16 a year. The guy that worked there said he killed the 16 bird limit in 30 minutes, and didnt go to half of the ponds. It said in the paper that the birds ate $20,000 worth of gold fish a year. They didn't stay in buiness long
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Postby MikeC » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:39 pm

oscar p wrote:We have a minnow farm in the next town from us, They went under after the father passed. A chinese company bought it a couple of years after that and raised gold fish. There was a write up in the paper about the herons eating them out of buiness. They got a permit from the state to kill them. They could only kill 16 a year. The guy that worked there said he killed the 16 bird limit in 30 minutes, and didnt go to half of the ponds. It said in the paper that the birds ate $20,000 worth of gold fish a year. They didn't stay in buiness long


I doubt they will give a permit for a pond that is not a commercial endeavor.
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Postby MikeC » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:49 pm

Beef11 wrote:If i were you then you'd be me which would be a big mess. I would limit the birds ability to eat fish through rapid lead therapy. a small well placed dosage would allow the culprit to exit the premises before feeling the symptoms thus alleviating the fish cops needs to harass you on the matter. Savvy


I agree and would recommend the 52 grain Sierra's. ;-)
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Postby oscar p » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:51 pm

MikeC wrote:
oscar p wrote:We have a minnow farm in the next town from us, They went under after the father passed. A chinese company bought it a couple of years after that and raised gold fish. There was a write up in the paper about the herons eating them out of buiness. They got a permit from the state to kill them. They could only kill 16 a year. The guy that worked there said he killed the 16 bird limit in 30 minutes, and didnt go to half of the ponds. It said in the paper that the birds ate $20,000 worth of gold fish a year. They didn't stay in buiness long


I doubt they will give a permit for a pond that is not a commercial endeavor.
I wasn't talking about A pond, I was talking about 40 or so ponds, How commerical can you get. They shipped gold fish all over the country, or world I would guess. The news paper artical was in the Advertiser Gleam, Guntersville Al.
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Postby ga. prime » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:51 pm

I wouldn't shoot a Heron. White or Blue. Great or Small. Not enough of them around to hurt the fish population.
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Postby MikeC » Wed Sep 12, 2007 5:55 pm

oscar p wrote:
MikeC wrote:
oscar p wrote:We have a minnow farm in the next town from us, They went under after the father passed. A chinese company bought it a couple of years after that and raised gold fish. There was a write up in the paper about the herons eating them out of buiness. They got a permit from the state to kill them. They could only kill 16 a year. The guy that worked there said he killed the 16 bird limit in 30 minutes, and didnt go to half of the ponds. It said in the paper that the birds ate $20,000 worth of gold fish a year. They didn't stay in buiness long


I doubt they will give a permit for a pond that is not a commercial endeavor.
I wasn't talking about A pond, I was talking about 40 or so ponds, How commerical can you get. They shipped gold fish all over the country, or world I would guess. The news paper artical was in the Advertiser Gleam, Guntersville Al.


I meant for Jo Gee's application, they prolly wouldn't issue a permit for herons.

Don't doubt for a minute that that outfit got one.
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Postby MikeC » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:00 pm

ga. prime wrote:I wouldn't shoot a Heron. White or Blue. Great or Small. Not enough of them around to hurt the fish population.


You've never been to the catfish ponds I've been to then.

I've seen literally thousands around a big catfish complex fairly close to me soon after stocking the fingerlings.

We ran up on a Blue Heron roost one day while going to a duck pond. It looked like millions leaving out...........
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Postby ga. prime » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:08 pm

Nope, I sure haven't seen that many.
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Postby Beef11 » Wed Sep 12, 2007 6:25 pm

We have alot of Blue heron over here in Idaho. Must be pretty adaptable birds. Or they like trout and catfish.
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Postby Jogeephus » Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:15 pm

What amazed me is how the bird planned on swallowing the catfish since it was about 10 inches. Also, I had no idea they could stab something so well with their beak. I mean it had a hole right in the top of his head just like he was gigged.

I'll probably keep an eye on them while on yote patrol. :lol:
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Postby MikeC » Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:25 pm

Jogeephus wrote:What amazed me is how the bird planned on swallowing the catfish since it was about 10 inches. Also, I had no idea they could stab something so well with their beak. I mean it had a hole right in the top of his head just like he was gigged.

I'll probably keep an eye on them while on yote patrol. :lol:


We find them all the time with a little catfish halfway down their neck. They try to swallow them backwards and those sharp little fins get caught.

Nothing left to do but the humane thing.

Put them out of their misery. ;-)

They are quite a challenge to "immobilize" because of the small thin body size. :lol:
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