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Jan 23rd, 2013
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Mudcat Problem #13188212 06/17/19 03:13 PM
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GoodS Offline OP
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Thanks to the drought and my cousin Terry the bass in my 1+ acre pond have been wiped out. All I seem to catch are mudcat. These are those smelly cats with the stiff pointed fins.

I was told the bass was the best way to get rid of them and of course thatís what Iím trying to repopulate. 2 months ago I stocked over $700 worth of small fingerling bass, minnows, and bluegill. The fish came from 2 places: one of those Arkansas companies that deliver all over Texas and that place down the road from me in Hallettsville. Yes, I told them I already had mudcats and wanted to get rid of them.

Did I just give these hardheads a feast on bass or is there any way they can survive the mudcats? Do I need to stock with mature fish?

I am afraid I wasted my time, energy and $$.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13188733 06/17/19 11:55 PM
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Meadowlark Offline
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If you went to Kenneth Henneke Fish Hatchery in Hallettsville you did not waste your time or energy. They are excellent lake management folks...and if you didn't go to them you may want to give them a call and discuss your situation.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13193107 06/22/19 11:05 AM
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Dave Davidson Offline
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I doubt that they got ALL of the bass but it wonít hurt to restock. And, youíre right about the cats getting their share. A better plan might be to nuke the pond and then start over. But, I would probably try the way you did. Start fishing for the cats.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13194028 06/23/19 06:09 PM
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Mudcats are FOOD for big fish. Disclaimer, I am not an expert by any means, but what I would do is stock channel cats and a few blues if you can find them. Once those channels reach about 3 lbs theyíre gonna gorge themselves on those little bullheads. If you could get your hands on some mature bass that would likely help too. I doubt they got all your fish too, however, the bluegill and minnows were probably overkill as those were forage species. The goal here in my mind is to make the bullheads the forage species. This is what I would do, but is by no means a cooker cutter way for every situation. Good luck with your pond!


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Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13198870 06/28/19 04:41 PM
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Bullheads do provide forage for largemouth but they also tend to create muddy water which suppresses productivity across the whole system and they compete directly for food/habitat with better forage species like bluegill. My general recommendation if bullheads are prolific in a pond is to drain, kill and restart. I agree with Meadow though, there are many variables to consider so chat with a pond management consultant. They can answer in minutes what would take hours to write/read here in text.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13199514 06/29/19 01:33 PM
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I know rotenone has been used in ponds to eradicate fish population. No idea how soon you could start over after such a treatment.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13245166 08/12/19 08:02 PM
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GoodS Offline OP
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Update: I made 4 fishing traps. I took used cattle protein tubs ( I have about 50 laying around from my cattle operation) and wire tied them on the open ends facing each other. I put plastic catfish throats on the ends. I purchased them online for about $6 each. I drilled holes all around the tubs so they would sink at a fair rate. After making a few adjustments I am now able to extract 6-10 of those nasty bullheads (in each trap) every couple days. I am using chicken livers in small cricket traps. I have also used cheese baits but they don't seem to last as long. I dump the fish along the shore and the varmints are loving it!

Lets hope this will give the bass a fighting chance.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13245214 08/12/19 08:49 PM
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Meadowlark Offline
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Now that's being creative! It will take time and lots of work for your approach to work. According to an internet source, " The females will lay 1,700 to 7,000 eggs, depositing up to 700 at each spawning. The eggs hatch within 5 to 10 days." That's a lot of bullheads.

I'm afraid you are facing an uphill battle, but got to give you credit for trying.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13245599 08/13/19 02:27 AM
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GoodS you could trap & sell those mudcats for bait to the catfishermen around you. Flathead/Aps love those mudcats. Might offset some of your stocking costs. Just a thought. Good luck with the bass lake.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13246053 08/13/19 02:49 PM
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I agree with Flip-n-go. We frequent a fishery in New Mexico quite often and have been going there for over 30 years. Over the past 5 years with the drought the lake got very low and the mudcats did start to take over. Once the water came back up you could not use worms without catching one. The New Mexico Game and Fish noticed the problem and took action. The method they used was introducing flathead catfish to the lake. I spoke with a park ranger and he confirmed they did stock flatheads in the lake to address the mudcat problem. Within a year there was a noticible decline in mudcat population and I have not caught one the past three times I have gone back even using worms on the bottom. It didn't seem to effect the walleye, trout, or bass populations as this is still designated trophy bass waters.
Page 56: http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/dow...es-Management-Plan-2016-SCG-Approved.pdf

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13246755 08/13/19 11:51 PM
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we were told in our tank (7 acres, spring fed, in Jacksboro)
when TP&W used to stock
1 in 100 small bass would survive

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13247133 08/14/19 09:44 AM
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A long time ago at Fairfield Lake you could catch as many mud cat(bull heads) as you wanted matter of fact it was about all you could catch. TPWD put a few flathead catfish in and the next year stocked a lot of them. In a short while there was no mud cat, and hasn't been any caught since that I know of.
This is the TPWD stocking report for Fairfield:
Catfish, Flathead 1975 4,900
Catfish, Flathead 1974 407

Last edited by jackiekennedyfishingguide; 08/14/19 09:48 AM.

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Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13247421 08/14/19 02:34 PM
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You are getting lots of opinions and advice. Outdoor Dude, Meadowlark, and Dave Davidson have been managing ponds for decades. If the mudcat problem is prolific you are best to drain, rotenone the remaining pockets of water and start over. I like to rotenone twice about 3 weeks apart. Wait 30-60 days before restocking if your pond fills up qucikly. If you drain this enables you to rework the habitat. You can restock for $500 to $750 depending on your goals. Spending time ane energy to trap a few dozen or a few hundred mudcats is a lot of work and likely will not get rid of the majority. Adding Flatheads is generally not a good idea if you have any hope of growing a solid bass or bluegill lake.

Last edited by salex; 08/14/19 03:50 PM. Reason: test

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Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: Meadowlark] #13248977 08/15/19 06:18 PM
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GoodS Offline OP
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Another Update:

I was checking a trap yesterday and I had a small bass. I hope somehow the bass can eventually wipe out the Bullhead as they are being hatched.

Re: Mudcat Problem [Re: GoodS] #13253134 45 minutes ago
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Lake Fork Guide Marc Mitchell Online Happy
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I have found the best way to get rid of mud cat's or yellow cats is put a 10 pound blue cat in your pond. They love those little cats. They have helped me and my customers ponds/lakes many times over in managing the bad fish. Never seem to effect any other species that we could tell.

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