Inland reservoir channel catfish assessment, stocking, and ecology
Cory Becher – PhD Student
This project seeks to identify cost-effective channel catfish stocking for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife (ODNR-DOW) and improve our understanding of channel catfish ecology in and across Ohio reservoirs. Channel catfish have been stocked in Ohio reservoirs regularly since the 1960’s, and are one of the most popular fisheries in the state. However, an assessment of the stocking program by the ODNR-DOW has not been conducted, thus there are no empirical data on the success of this stocking program. Our project aims to answer two major questions to understanding the success of the stocking program: Does stocking success differ between age-0 channel catfish and age-1 channel catfish, and how do stocked channel catfish contribute to reservoir populations once reaching adulthood.
Understanding how effective and efficient the channel catfish stocking program is currently will help improve the channel catfish fishery within Ohio reservoirs and give us a better understanding of channel catfish ecology in reservoirs.