I have decided to dedicate a section of my web site to one of my favourite species the catfish. However, as I know little about the catfish compared to other more common species I have called on the knowledge of others to aid completing an educational and informative section.
catfish are especially suited to the slow-flowing reaches of the larger rivers and lakes especially with dense weed-beds and muddy bottoms. However, catfish are very adaptable and can even be found in the strongest currents of the River Po in Italy where fish up to 200 lb can be seen feeding under boiling water conditions where the current is so strong that boats are unable to anchor. Silurus glanis is mainly a nocturnal scavenger and feeds best in warm weather at night.
Although catching the fish was a fairly straightforward process the removal and loading was far from easy. The small obstacle of a concrete dam wall stood in the way of easy loading. The only efficient way to get fish from the water to the tanks at the top of the dam was through sheer hard work.
Slings of fish, approximately 20 lbs in weight, were loaded and then carried to the base of the wall. A rope was attached to the sling and then it was manually hauled to the top where the fish could be released into the tank. The period of the drain down saw over 1000 slings of fish pulled to the top of the dam. The relatively poor water quality, mainly caused by the silt, meant that the fish needed to be removed and loaded into clean, oxygenated water as quickly as possible.
At low water level the access to the dam section was difficult. A small boat was the only option as it needed pulling across the silt to the remaining water. Seine netting was the only option available to catch the fish safely and quickly. Due to the silt levels and unknown quantities of fish a relatively small 180-metre seine net was used. Large quantities of juvenile fish combined with thick gill blocking silt would spell disaster.