Nathaniel Horner, Recreational Angler
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Posted on September 4, 2012 | Permalink
The Impact of Flathead Catfish
Location: Potomac River
I have noticed that more flathead catfish are starting to show up in the Potomac River in Williamsport at the Power Plant Dam and from the river bottom up at Dam 5. I think due to the boom in catfish tournaments held around the tri-state these fish are getting transported into are waters. Just concerned that the flathead could have a negative impact on are smallmouth population in these damn restricted areas.
DNR Response:Thank you for your post. We were aware of one recent flathead catch near Williamsport but not of others. The possession, importation, or transport of nonnative aquatic organisms is prohibited under the Annotated Code of Maryland, (Natural Resources §4-205.1). Flathead and blue catfish are listed as nonnative in Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 08.02.19.04 Nonnative Aquatic Organisms. In addition it is illegal to stock or introduce any fish species into nontidal waters of the state without a permit.
This should be of concern to all anglers. The potential for flatheads to impact important gamefish species is real. We take violations of these laws and regulations seriously. Besides the direct impacts from predation or competition there is potential to introduce disease and parasites which can affect many species. We urge everyone to report violations of these rules which safeguard your fishing. The Natural Resource Police number is 800-635 -124.
Thanks again for your concern.