Seasonal migration and homing of channel catfish in the lower Wisconsin River, Wisconsin
migration, homing, channel, catfish, recapture, Mississippi River
Journal or Book Title
North American Journal of Fisheries Management
A multiyear tag and recapture study was conducted to determine whether channelcatfish (Icalurus punctatus) were migratory and if they had strong homing tendencies. Over10,000 channel catfish were tagged from the lower Wisconsin River and adjacent waters of theupper Mississippi River during the 3-year sampling period. Data on movements were obtainedfrom study recaptures and through tag returns and harvest information provided by sport anglersand commercial fishers. Channel catfish occupied relatively small home ranges during summer,migrated downstream to the upper Mississippi River in autumn, then migrated back up theWisconsin River in spring to spawn and to occupy the same summer home sites they had used inprevious summers. Fish size was a factor in the degree of fidelity to summer home sites, withlarger fish showing greater fidelity.