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Raising catfish in cold climates?

Posted by dirtslinger2 6 (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 4, 10 at 23:13

This is more of a "food fish" question but wasn't really sure where else to ask it...

Does anyone raise catfish where winters include the pond being frozen over for many months at a time?

There are no native catfish around here but I am hoping there is a species available that grows to a decent size AND will readily breed/naturalize in my large/deep pond?

Thanks for any ideas!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

Well I'm not sure where your from but in RI theres fresh water ponds with catfish and other types and many of these ponds freeze for a few months of the year.


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

Channel catfish do well in cold water/climates. They are actually native to the Eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains.


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

There are catfish who live in northern climates with lakes/ponds that freeze over. I grew up catching bullheads (northern NY catfish). One thing to consider is keeping a hole open in the winter as many ponders do for koi and comets, etc .

However, the big question is: If catfish aren't native to your area you might want to check with your county extention office to see if you can legally stock a pond with them. Some areas have restrictions on what fish can be kept in ponds. Better safe than sorry!!!!

Good luck. Let us know what you decide


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

There are a LOT of restrictions on catfish because they are so hardy and because they grow to such a large size, they eliminate other species. The correct Government Agency to ask would be the Department of Natural Resources or the fisheries dept. under that heading. Their contact number will be in the listing of State Government offices in your area.


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

I have a small albino catfish in my pond. My daughter had bought him for her indoor aquarium. During the summer last year, I added him to the pond. He was about 5 inches long when he went in, and I seen him today, and he's about 7 inches now.

We had a very cold, snowy, wet winter this year and the pond iced over for a couple weeks with water temps that were very cold. He made it through just fine.

If he ever gets to big, I'm not sure what I'll do. He gets along with all the goldies and koi. I just wish he'd snack on the minnows that are in there. I had him eating out of my hand last summer, and today I gave him a tiny piece of food and he remembered the hand that feeds him.


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

I'm curious what species the albino cat is? Some catfish are quite predatory.
Yes this pond has no in/outflows, so there is no problem with fish escaping into waterways but that is a very good point. I should look into restrictions- maybe I need a permit I have no idea.
Thanks, I will look up channel catfish and bullheads!


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

Here in outside Chicago, I have 2 albino channel catfish that have survived the last three winters. The are close to two feet long and yes --I seen baby fish yesterday afternoon. So , while I am sure they have had a baby or two....they are not devouring their fellow neighbors


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

The albino catfish in my pond shows all the charateristics of a channel cat. He is a creamy color with pink eyes. Rather pretty. He comes out from hiding each evening around the time the sun is setting looking for me.

There are many big box stores that sell them in the aquarium department which is where my daughter bought 'Al' I keep him (or her) fed with fish pellets and snacks that the goldfish eat. Keeping his belly full is probably what keeps him from being so predatory. Of course, that could change. Never know.


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RE: Raising catfish in cold climates?

They are albino channel cats. They are really pretty common.
We had albinos pop up all the time when I was a kid.
The problem with breeding catfish in cold climates is that they will not reproduce unless the water stays around 80 degrees for a good amount of time.
In the cold places where they flourish they are able to breed because they can get up into the shallow feeders where the water can stay warm. If they were restricted to deep lakes with no available feeders they wouldn't reproduce.
Info courtesy of our Department of Fish and Game


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