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Thread: How to tell if a catfish is pregnant

  1. #1
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    Default How to tell if a catfish is pregnant

    Hi guys, a friend of mine who works for Nkwichi lodge on lake malawi has asked me to help with this. I don't know the answer so I was hoping someone on the forum might.

    If you know anything you can comment on the facebook post on this link

    If you are not on facebook you can comment here and I will pass the message on.

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks guys.

    This is the question they have asked:

    "As part of the conservation effort here in Manda Wilderness we are educating the local fisherman on the effects of removing female catfish (a staple part of the diet here) from the water before they have spawned. One way in which we are able to do this is through purchasing power at Nkwichi Lodge (the biggest customer for these fishermen). One problem we're having, however, is to devise a simple way to tell whether the fish has eggs or not. This fish unfortunately had a heathly number of eggs almost ready to be spawned, but we could only tell that once we had gutted it."
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  2. #2
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    In my experience i have found that the lower section of the stomach bulges,much like the photo,just slightly rounder.I also find the females i catch are usually not the big fish and tend to be an average of 5-8kg.The bulge is quite noticeable whether you are holding the fish as in the picture or horizontally.Also depending on how they target the fish they should not target schools huddled together but rather fish around such areas as the males tend to be very active around the huddling schools looking for the action.I must add though that a single female can lay as many as 500 000 eggs of which 2/300000 can hatch succesfully.I think more than trying to put back egg carrying fish they might just change strategy.If they fish the shallows grassy areas by foot rather target by boat or the likes so as not to trample over the already laid eggs which could be in the millions in the shallows.
    I am no scientist but merely my thoughts on this.I have a study at home regarding the cultivation of the species and will see if i can come up with a real answer.I do however believe that if they do end up gutting the odd female it is not gonna affect populations to a major extent due to the nature (productivity)of the species,but for the long term use of them they really only have to start looking more closely at their habits to determine differnt approaches at different times of year.

  3. #3
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    Default

    I thought the catfish will have morning sickness or have a craving for Marie biscuits?
    Korrie Broos

    Don't go knocking on Death's door, ring the bell and run like hell. He hates it. (anon)
    Nymphing, adds depth to your fly fishing.
    Nymphing, is fly fishing in another dimension

  4. #4
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    You not far off Korrie.I dont catch many preggy ones.I often cast at fish that simply ignore a fly completely to be nailed by the fish following.It always made me wonder if the female fish only start feeding after spawning.
    I have noticed if you cast at the schooling bunch they scatter(i think its because the female usually spooks),but cast a fly a few more times on the spot and the take is savage,like they are attacking anything that comes near to the female

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by core fly View Post
    In my experience i have found that the lower section of the stomach bulges,much like the photo,just slightly rounder.I also find the females i catch are usually not the big fish and tend to be an average of 5-8kg.The bulge is quite noticeable whether you are holding the fish as in the picture or horizontally.Also depending on how they target the fish they should not target schools huddled together but rather fish around such areas as the males tend to be very active around the huddling schools looking for the action.I must add though that a single female can lay as many as 500 000 eggs of which 2/300000 can hatch succesfully.I think more than trying to put back egg carrying fish they might just change strategy.If they fish the shallows grassy areas by foot rather target by boat or the likes so as not to trample over the already laid eggs which could be in the millions in the shallows.
    I am no scientist but merely my thoughts on this.I have a study at home regarding the cultivation of the species and will see if i can come up with a real answer.I do however believe that if they do end up gutting the odd female it is not gonna affect populations to a major extent due to the nature (productivity)of the species,but for the long term use of them they really only have to start looking more closely at their habits to determine differnt approaches at different times of year.
    Thanks John,

    I knew you would be one of the first to reply Good info.
    But I think it would be difficult to get the locals there to stop fishing the huddling schools. Like they said their biggest influence
    is probably purchasing power, so not buying the ones with bulges is a good start.
    As a second check is there a easy way to tell a female from a male?

  6. #6
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    Will see what info the study all has in it.Its like 500pages so i have not read the whole thing as yet.

  7. #7
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    Stroke its belly to tail after landing, if it does not ''get a erection'', its carrying eggs or a ''moffie fish''., if so!!! invaluable.
    Handle every situation like a dog.- If you cant hump it, piss on it and walk away. --JASPER.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Korrie View Post
    I thought the catfish will have morning sickness or have a craving for Marie biscuits?
    Pregnant catfish are always crying and saying "It's your fault you bastard"!!!
    So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish.

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