The Blue Catfish is a species in the large taxonomic order Siluriformes. 2017. An estimated 7,265 pounds of blue catfish were served on campus during the fall 2019 semester. Electrofishing efforts have caught upwards of 6,000 fish in an hour. Chefs in Maryland and Virginia have led the way in popularizing Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish and increasing consumer demand to help control the fish’s numbers. The results show that the levels of mercury (˂0.47 ppm) and PCBs (0.001 to 0.856 ppm) in fish up to 41 inches are much lower than the FDA and EPA Safety Levels in Regulations and Guidance for methyl mercury (1.0 ppm) and PCBs (2.0 ppm) in commercial seafood (FDA, 2020). Blue catfish can grow to be larger than 100 pounds. Fabrizio, M.C., Tuckey, T.D., Latour, R.J. et al. Guide services in the James and Potomac rivers run expeditions that target blue catfish. Virginia Wild-Caught Blue Catfish: Nutrition and Contaminant Analysis. The blue catfish multiply so quickly that in a few weeks or months, the population of blue catfish can distort the normal ecological balance in the river. Blue catfish are currently available for sale to the public in many food outlets. Available at: https://dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/Documents/Invasive_Catfish_%20Fact_Sheet.pdf Omega-3 Fatty Acids. ounces per week of a variety of seafood, which help provide a minimum recommended consumption of 250 mg per day of EPA and DHA, is associated with reduced cardiac deaths among individuals with and without preexisting cardiovascular disease (WHO, 2008; USDHH and USDA, 2015). As a new predator in the ecosystem, Blue Catfish have been flourishing, invading the spawning waters of American Shad and other fish and shellfish native to the Bay’s tributaries, eating their eggs and endangering their survival. “But no one knows how many blue catfish would need to be caught to reduce potential conflicts with other species – or whether a market exists for that large a catch,” reported the Bay Journal.. As you’ll read in his story, blue catfish are an alien species, deposited in regional waters the way so many oddities arrive: released by humans, in this case to build a new fishery. Blue catfish have four pairs of black whisker-like barbels around their mouths. They spawn once a year from late May into June, mostly in lower-salinity streams and smaller tributaries. Blue catfish are landed commercially using a variety of nets, impoundments, and traps. The information presented has met UME peer review standards, including internal and external technical review. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Available at http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. This is good for developing the flavor but bad for the ecosystem of our Bay. Rice can catch up to 1,200 pounds of blue catfish. The main product is whole fillet. The Baltimore Sun. In the Chesapeake Bay, blue catfish are a popular recreational fishery. There are many health benefits of Omega-3 fats in fish. Many anglers like fishing for blue catfish because they are strong, savvy fish that are a good challenge. Like any kind of food, fish (including Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish), may have potential risks associated with microbial and chemical contaminants. For the general population, consumption of about 8 The following are some of the important native species in Chesapeake Bay that Blue Catfish eat. Robert Fisher (Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Virginia Sea Grant ) Internet Explorer lacks support for the features of this website. University of Maryland Dining Services serves Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish on campus and includes it in menus and promotions. While blue catfish are offered for sale to the public at many stores and markets, the fishery is still developing. Freshwater Catfish vs Saltwater Catfish. Increasing commercial harvest and consumption of Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish is one way to reduce numbers of this invasive fish in our Bay. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDHH and USDA, 2015). But a new management plan says that with coordinated action — including ramped-up efforts to get people to develop an appetite for them — … Anglers will have the best results fishing when water levels are low, and the river is within its banks. The University of Maryland Extension Seafood Technology Specialist and Family and Consumer Science Educators have worked together to deliver education and demonstration programs to enhance public awareness on food safety and nutrition of invasive Blue Catfish and promote safe consumption. References Adult blue catfish have few natural predators in the Chesapeake Bay. In 2018 there was an estimated 500 million pounds of blue catfish in the bay. Even though they prefer fresh water, Blue Catfish can tolerate brackish waters of the Chesapeake Bay river estuaries with salinities up to 15 ppt (parts per thousand). This fact sheet aims to enhance public awareness of this invasive species as a new commercial fishery resource. December 2015. Non-native Blue Catfish Its smooth skin lacks scales. Virginia has created a new commercial fishery to target Blue Catfish using Low Frequency Electrofishing Technology (a generator supplied pulsed low frequency DC current that temporarily stuns the fish and causes them to surface to enable harvesting). Blue Catfish also eat crab, fish, crayfish, clams, mussels, frogs, and other readily available aquatic food sources, which play an important role in our ecosystem and economy. Estuaries and Coasts 41, 827–840 (2018). In my opinion the best tasting catfish is the Blue Catfish which is running wild, literally, in the Chesapeake Bay. Females produce 4,000 to 8,000 eggs per kilogram of body weight—so a 10-pound fish could produce more than 20,000 eggs. Because blue catfish—and another invasive fish, the flathead catfish—have the potential to cause substantial harm to the Chesapeake Bay food web, the Chesapeake Bay Program recently developed an. "Blue catfish eat everything, including each other, and there aren’t a whole lot of things that eat them once they get a certain size." Newport News, VA 23608, Phone: (757) 874-3474 Adults usually grow to be less than two feet long but can be up to five feet and weigh more than 100 pounds. Available at: https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/FFA_summary_rec_conclusion.pdf?ua=1 Lucky for humans, they are quite tasty and a good source of nutrition. 2011). They have expanded their range and population so much that they are likely negatively affecting the Bay ecosystem because they eat so many native species, such as striped bass, blue crab, shad, herring, and Atlantic sturgeon. There have been studies to observe the invasive nature of catfish and some solutions have been derived for use by farmers who need to prevent catfish from being invasive in their private ponds. Amid concern that blue catfish could be spreading out of control in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River, there's an effort to stanch their population. Up close and in person, blue catfish are gruesome creatures. Blue catfish are apex predators of Chesapeake tributaries; they are opportunistic and generalist predators, feeding on important native fish such as menhaden, shad, river herring, as well as blue crabs, plants, and insects. They are among the preferred prey of osprey and bald eagles. Blue catfish are native to the Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Rio Grande river basins; they have been stocked for fishing in nearly 20 states. January 11, 2019. The purpose of this program is to create sales of Blue Catfish to state institutions providing food services and help reduce the Blue Catfish’s negative impact on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay ecosystems by creating a reliable market for the nonnative species. The fillets have more healthy fats (unsaturated 75%) than unhealthy ones (saturated 25%). But now, thanks to marketing efforts, particularly in Maryland, the commercial fishery for blue catfish in the Chesapeake Bay is ramping up. It was thought that these fish only lived in very fresh water. Chesapeake Bay Blue Catfish: Invasive, but Delicious and Nutritious! In fact, it may be tastier than any catfish you’ve ever had. 9 to 10 years, though some have been known to live up to 25 years, Average less than 2 feet in length but can grow to 5 feet, New England/Mid-Atlantic, Available at: https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/environment/bs-md-blue-catfish-20190603-story.html They are tasty and nutritious. In the Chesapeake Bay watershed, channel catfish reach weights of 10 pounds or more, although 2-3 pound fish are more common. They croak like pigs. How it succeeded! Chef’s symposiums held annually at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science offer Blue Catfish fishery, sustainability, and culinary products education to chefs and culinary students. They found that blue catfish ate a wide variety of species, including many of management concern such as blue crabs, blueback herring, American shad, softshell clams, menhaden and white perch. They grow big and ugly and gray. Maryland announced a Blue Catfish purchasing initiative program in September 2019. Many anglers like fishing for blue catfish because they are strong, savvy fish that are a good challenge. Tidal Habitats Support Large Numbers of Invasive Blue Catfish in a Chesapeake Bay Subestuary. University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. The Chesapeake Bay record is a blue catfish caught in the James River that was 102 pounds. Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP, 2017). Fillet portions (3 oz, 4oz, 8oz), whole-fish, gutted or un-gutted are available upon request from buyers. Omega-3 fats enhance infant brain development and health outcomes. Since they are not picky about where they live, they have expanded their range to most of the major rivers of the Chesapeake Bay. They actively feed on aquatic prey, including other fish (Menhaden, American Shad, White Perch, and River Herring) and shellfish (crabs, clams, and mussels). Environ Sci Pollut Res 25, 28355–28366 (2018). State natural resource managers know blue catfish have had an adverse impact on the bay ever since the fish were introduced to the James, Rappahannock and York Rivers during the 1970s and 1980s. “An extreme concern for me is the predation on crabs from the blue catfish,” says this Maryland native. Blue Catfish has a slate blue body with smooth skin, a silver-white belly and four pairs of black, whisker-like barbels around its mouth. The FDA and EPA Safety Levels in Regulations and Guidance in FDA’s Fish and Fishery Products Hazards and Controls Guidance, Appendix 5 (Fourth Edition-March 2020).
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