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Virginia gives "release citations" for a lot of "game" species, but unfortunately Catfish aren't one of the species recognised as a game fish. The current "citation" size for catfish is well below (If I recall, it's 20 pounds for Blue Catfish) what most anglers think of as a "trophy" fish. We're trying to convince all fishermen that catfish in excess of ten pounds should be released... Personally, I'm hoping that the recent advisory AGAINST eating any blue catfish from the James River will go a long way to helping manage the fish by default... if people follow the advisory there's no reason, other than getting a piece of paper to hang on the wall, not to CPR trophy class fish. Assuming that the next record fish might come from the James River basin, there's always a chance that a new record may get killed in an effort to certify it, but from what I've been seeing lately and hearing through the grapevine there are tons of fifty-plus pound class fish in the river. The biologists have been performing shock-surveys in the James for years, and they said recently that our fishery is very healthy as far as Blues are concerned... Bass fishermen complain the blues are eating all their precious bass, but I say let the superior species rule the water LOL... if catfish eat bass, they can't be all that "game" to begin with...

Congratulations to Joe on the recognition.... it's far too often we hear about the bad apples, and far too infrequent we hear about one of our own who follows the rules and gets recognised for that... good guys don't sell newspapers....
 
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