Bay Catfish Advocates (BCAs) work very hard to preserve catfisheries -- especially trophy catfisheries -- in the Chesapeake Bay waters of VA, MD, DC, and PA. BCAs regularly share information related to catfish management secured from Government fisheries management entities in all of these areas. Most importantly, BCAs are aggressively insisting that Government agencies -- MD DNR, in particular -- produce the science that supports its claim that blue and flathead catfish fit their own definitions of "invasive". Despite having provided no conclusive, direct (non-circumstantial) scientific evidence to date, MD DNR continues to label and manage both as invasive.

REGARDLESS OF WHERE YOU LIVE OR CATFISH, BCA VERY MUCH NEEDS YOUR SHOW OF SUPPORT!

Below is some important information to help you understand why conservation-minded catfish anglers must unite now to protect our blue and flathead fisheries for both current and future generations of recreational catfish anglers.

• If you do not, policies and management approaches may be implemented that will greatly decrease the chances of both this generation and future generations of recreational catfish anglers having any reasonable opportunity to catch trophy blue and trophy flathead catfish from the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

• Many people perceive blue and flathead catfish negatively. To a large degree, these misperceptions have been fueled by the media and the sources that feed information to it. Negligent over-sensationalism that is not clearly supported by science has, unfortunately, been fairly common. Example: published articles with titles such as "Behind pollution, blue catfish are the biggest threat to the Chesapeake Bay."

• Even some Government agency representatives have expressed disinterest in the fishery that Bay Catfish Advocates so very much enjoy and value. Example: in November 2014, the former Freshwater Fisheries Director at the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) publicly stated: "WE DON'T WANT TO MANAGE THIS FISHERY, WE WANT TO KNOCK IT DOWN TO THE LOWEST LEVEL POSSIBLE AND THEN KEEP IT ON THAT LEVEL."

• Government agencies have deemed blue and flathead catfish "invasive species," which is defined as "an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native."
.....• Ref: What is an invasive species? (http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/invasive.html)

• Some consider blue and flathead catfish harmful to the Bay ecosystem for several reasons: "They grow to enormous sizes, have massive appetites, reproduce rapidly and live for many years. As top-level predators in the Bay food web, blue and flathead catfish prey upon important native species such as American shad and blueback herring."
.....• Ref: Scientists to develop management plan for invasive blue and flathead catfish in Chesapeake Bay - March 02, 2012 (http://www.chesapeakebay.net/blog/post/scientists_to_develop_management_plan_for_invasive_blue_and_flathead_catfis)

• Bay Catfish Advocates can, however, make a difference if they unite and, together, work closely with the Government agencies responsible for managing our catfisheries and formulating policies that impact them. It is very important that Bay Catfish Advocates recognize that there are many stakeholders (with primary objectives that our different from ours) involved with this issue. For our Bay Catfish Advocate group to be effective and successful, we must be recognized by Government agencies as a legitimate stakeholder, too. This will require patience, professionalism, and a commitment to relationship-building.

• If you care about blue and flathead catfish, especially trophies, please support our Bay Catfish Advocate effort. You can read our position statement (what we believe) by clicking the "Position Statement" button at the top of any page within this website, or by simply clicking here.

• Becoming an active Bay Catfish Advocate and contributing to our success need not cumbersome or time-consuming. The following "small" actions have been, and will continue to be, very meaningul to the Bay Catfish Advocate effort:

........• 1.) "Liking" our Bay Catfish Advocate Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/baycatfish).
........• 2.) "Liking" and "Sharing" informational posts published on our Bay Catfish Advocate Facebook page.
........• 3.) Reponding to our short surveys, which provides tangible data to sway fisheries managers in our favor.
........• 4.) Placing a Bay Catfish Advocate decal on your vehicle and/or boat.
........• 5.) Giving Bay Catfish Advocate decals and informational flyers to others.
........• 6.) Asking others with similar interests to actively support Bay Catfish Advocate.

Brad Hierstetter
301-997-4945 (Cell)
BCA@baycatfish.com or brad.hierstetter@gmail.com
Become a Bay Catfish Advocate Today!
Influence "Invasive" Species Policy Decisions