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Journal Article 
Flathead catfish: Biology, fisheries, and management 
Jackson, DC; , 
Flathead catfish Pylodictis olivaris are large predatory fish native to the Mississippi, Mobile and Rio Grande river drainages. They have been introduced into warmwater systems beyond their native range across North America. Although stocks exist in lentic habitats, they are primarily considered as riverine fish. They tend to orient around structure, have relatively strong homing instincts and are highly aggressive to conspecifics. Within their natural range, they are solitary fish. A single unit of cover typically contains only one or two adult fish. Adults prefer deep holes and channels and tolerate a wide range of turbidities. The young frequently are found in riffles. Spawning occurs during summer months and, in lotic systems, normally when stream flows have stabilized within main channels. Spawning adults prefer protected sites such as hollow logs, excavated caves, root masses from downed trees or anthropogenic materials. Although they are invertivores during early life history stages, they quickly switch to a diet of fish and large invertebrates. Maturity is reached in 3-5 years, and between total lengths of 40 and 75 cm (1.5-4.0 kg). Maximum age of flathead catfish has been reported to be about 30 years. Growth can be rapid. There are numerous records of individual flathead catfish weighing >40 kg. Within their natural range, flathead catfish provide the foundation for subsistence and commercial fisheries as well as for a variety of recreational fisheries. Introduced populations can be problematic with respect to management of traditional fisheries. In many systems they are considered the principal big game fish, and anglers willingly accept low catch rates for the opportunity to catch exceptionally large, aggressive fish. In addition to the species' sporting qualities, fishers are attracted to flathead catfish because of the desirable texture and flavor of its flesh, which generally improves as fish attain larger sizes. Management for flathead catfish should address the availability of deep water habitat, cover, forage, and protection of sub-adult fish. The tendency for limited movement by adult fish provides opportunity for directed management for sub-populations within systems. 
Irwin, ER; Hubert, WA; Rabeni, CF; Schramm, HL; Coon, T; 
International Ictalurid Symposium (Catfish 2000)