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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i was out fishing with my cousin today ,in norton , as we worked our way down the river ,we stopped at a beaver dam, on the right side of the road almost to hampton ,we fished the damn and got some small brook trout 4 to 5 inches ,then we tried the brook under the bridge , and we caught what looked like a catfish,,they were 4 to six inches long ,had a wide flat head,and the feelers,all we were using were hooks and a worm on a swivel, has any one else seen them
 

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There are catfish all around here, my son-in-law caught 2 at the same time in the Kennebecasis a couple of years ago.
 

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That'd be catfish personally myself I caught around 18 last year in lakes north-east , Saint John, all around 5-12 inches in length never ate them they good to some I guess but I don't want to eat them
haha But yes they are a very Common fish speices amoung NewBrunswick!
 

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brown bullheads. they dont get very big.
 

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I cant keep the darn things off my hook in the mid summer evenings up river...and they are sickly looking things sometimes. 90% of the bullhead I'm getting in the gagetown area have turned black and white, with the fins rotting off of them. When I say black, I mean jet black, and by fins rotting off, I'm serious, I got one last summer that had NO tail left at all..but they still go after a hook and worm even if they are half dead. I call them dalmation catfish. They are also washing up dead on the shores constantly. I have to clean them up so by dog doesn't get into them. I certainly have no interest in eating our local bullhead.

Anyone have any clues as to what causes these fish to seemingly deteriorate?

The southern larger catfish are absolutely delecious!!
 

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Ones I caught were just a very dark green the bullheads but that was from a lake none were rotting away but then again your fishing in a river not sure what could cause that.
 

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I used to have an aquarium set up and the fish can contract something called "fin rot" causes their fins to deteriorate and after awhile they will die. I dont know if maybe its the same thing for catfish or not haha
 

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Linesider - I've caught quite a few of these holstien catfish as well in the SJ river near jemseg and colwells creek. The black spots rub off on your hands.....If you get an answer let me know, I've been trying to figure it out for years......
 

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i've caught catfish that were 100 percent black, but seemed fine. but i have caught a few that didnt look so hot and one with a large tumor? near it's pectoral fin. no idea what causes it. i dont think i'd eat them from the SJ river... I have eaten channel catfish before. they get to a good size (10lb and bigger arent uncommon) and are quite nice to eat. bullheads from 'trout' streams or clean lakes should be safe to eat aswell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks guys i did think we had them up here,i took my daughter fishing out by first lake ,we fished a smaller lake on the other side of the road ,she kept catching them there,,black slimy,and i just put it off as some one put them in that little lake,to fish.learned something new.and i know if aquarium water gets to acidic, it will cause the the fins to rot or be eatin away
 

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cat fish is a little smokey tasting. white meat.
 

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the ones i was eating had no tumors or black/white, just normal brown bull cats.
 

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I got one of those nasty looking bullhead today. Put up a nice fight on light gear. I'd guess it was 12 - 13" long. Seemed otherwise healthy aside from the fact that it has turned black and white. I'd really like to know what is causing these fish to "mutate"

This fish was caught near Darling's Island...



 

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Them turning black is called melanistic tumors or melanistic lesions, can bbe triggered my a lot of things, mostly environmental, ive eaten brown bullheads, not the blackened ones, but the bigger ones that are good and clean and for anyone who hasnt tried them you are really missing out, they are absolutly delicious out of cold water, especially in te winter, we cooked a few up this weeknd fora large group while camping on Grand Lake and they were amazing, deep fry them in butter witha bit of garlic and some pepper...same goes for eels..even better, some people tried it never eaitng it beffore and being a bit skeptical, but then they cleaned the entire plate and came back for more, almost all prefered it over white perch, which is pretty darn tasty
 

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pondjumper, how do u prepare the catfish? I may be willing to give them a try. I had them down in Virginia a few yrs back and wasnt all that crazy about them. Then again they would have been farmed so maybe that would make a difference.
 

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I pulled a brown bullhead out of the SJ river (near Fredericton) that had the exact same black mottled colouring. I haven't caught a bullhead before so I did not know this was abnormal, the fish was cleaned and is still in the fridge. I think I'll be skipping bullhead for dinner tonight...

On a side note, it is a little frustrating that NB does not have a fish eating advisory guide. I have moved from Ontario, where the ministry of the ENVIRONMENT (not the DNR) publishes a yearly 300 page book of fish eating recommendations for hundreds of water bodies throughout the province. I obviously do not expect NB to be at the same standard as a more populated Ontario, but I would have at least expected some public recommendations for major populated water bodies, like the SJ River, Grand Lake, etc. I am sure there have been studies conducted on fish pollution

NB's DNR regs without conflict of interest I can" assure" you are here. There is no mention of PCBs, tumours, and other contaminants, just mercury.
http://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/natural_resources/fish/content/MercuryInFish.html

Here is the Ontario guide, the introduction mentions tumours in fish, etc, and contains other information about other toxins, which might be a good resource if you are interested:
http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/resources/collection/guide_to_eating_ontario_sport_fish/STDPROD_075994.html
 
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