Virginia Anglers Catch 143-pound Monster Catfish

News outlets are calling the 143-pound blue catfish hooked by sport fishermen in Virginia a monster of our own making. The fish caught by Richard Nicholas “Nick” Anderson and his father and brother in John H. Kerr Reservoir, known locally as Buggs Island Lake, broke the state record just set in March by a 109 pound catfish, and may break the world record for largest fish caught. Biologists for the most part are not cheering the opportunity for more fisherman to catch a “big one” in Virginia waters.

“The blue catfish can utilize nearly any habitat and will eat anything,” said Tom Connell, director of the Fisheries Service for Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources told the Washington Post. “When you look at their size, they could reduce or eliminate some native species.”

Fish like native American shad and river herring are already under stress and the catfish, which were introduced for sport fishing and are spreading through Southern Virginia and up the Potomac, could decimate those populations. Pollution from sewage and fertilizer runoff from farms may be contributing to the size and number of blue catfish in Virginia because increased nutrient pollution causes algal blooms that boost the food chain for the catfish.

Officials warn anglers to limit consumption of blue catfish due to PCB contamination and other toxins. Blue catfish are voracious predators and can live up twenty years, absorbing PCBs and heavy metals such as mercury from their prey.

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Photo credit: Blue catfish caught in Maryland waters by flickr user USFWS Headquarters

61 comments

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G7 years ago

Humans f###-up every balance on the ecology scale!

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Lisa B.
Elizabeth B7 years ago

They don't even let pregnant women eat fish because of the mercury pollution - why would anyone else want to eat it?

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colleen p.
colleen p7 years ago

wait? these are invasives put in water without forsight for sport?
people want the invasive speciese to be "freeeeeeeeeee andd happpyyyyyyyyyyy andddddddd liveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee and have childreeeeeeeennnnnnnnnnn"

catfish lives, eats all native speciese. catfish is all that is left.

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Patricia A.
Patricia A7 years ago

This poor fish has lived obviously a very long time to reach that weight and length! Why in the hell didn't he release the legend and let him go free which is what this fish deserved after all this time of no one catching him until now! The problem with overfishing isn't the fish, it's the humans.

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R A M.
Renata B7 years ago

Disgusting. That poor creature strained with blood. I would like to see one of these people with a hook stuck in their palate, pulled up by it and then drowned into the water until suffocation comes. I would like to see how they would enjoy that.

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alex lester
alex l7 years ago

so they claim that there is a lot of pollution, but that it is the catfish that are killing other fish off - which seems to be the justification they offer for killing that beautiful animal.
did it ever occur to them that it is the pollution that is killing off so many fish? you know, the pollution they just mentioned? that pollution?
no?
Ok, then. go back to killing more stuff. that should really help the situation out.
(bangs head on desk)

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Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W7 years ago

Is it a mutant?

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Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy7 years ago

That's No Fishing Near The Dam, Sorry keyboard errors since mine is wireless and missing letters. (human error) lol

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Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy7 years ago

Back at close to my home town their is a lake and by the dam their has been known catfish big enough to eat man. A boater lost his boat motor close to the dam and marine diver discovered this huge catfish or what ever it was fish wise. To this day no one fishes near the dam and signs are posted o Fishing ear The Dam.

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Jon Hoy
Jonjon Hoy7 years ago

Back at close to my home town their is a lake and by the dam their has been known catfish big enough to eat man. A boater lost his boat motor close to the dam and marine diver discovered this huge catfish or what ever it was fish wise. To this day no one fishes near the dam and signs are posted o Fishing ear The Dam.

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