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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Tuesday, November 3 • 8:20am - 8:40am
Population Dynamics of Introduced Flathead Catfish Occurring in Two Atlantic Coastal Plain Rivers: Comparisons of Age, Size Structure, Growth, Mortality and Management

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Timothy F. Bonvechio*, Georgia Department of Natural Resources; Jason E. Marsik, Carl W. Bussells -South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

This study evaluated and compared the population dynamics of introduced flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) populations from the Satilla River, Georgia with the Little Pee Dee River, South Carolina. Both of these Atlantic lower coastal plain rivers are characterized as black water, low productivity systems that historically supported very popular redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus) fisheries but invasion histories and the management regimes adopted by the two state agencies managing these populations has contrasted. Presumably due to an active flathead removal, the Satilla River flathead population is characterized as having high relative abundance, high mortality, variable but fast growth rates and a truncated size and age structure containing mostly younger fish with a maximum age of 12 sampled. On the contrary, the Little Pee Dee flathead population has received much less removal attention and regularly receives redbreast sunfish stocking. The Little Pee Dee population is characterized as having a high relative abundance, but variable and slow growth rates and a more balanced size and age structure, containing fish up to age-26. This study expands our knowledge base of introduced flathead catfish population dynamics along the Atlantic coastal plain and provides a few examples of how agencies in the Southeast have met the challenge of managing an introduced apex predator.

Tuesday November 3, 2015 8:20am - 8:40am EST

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