Well join the “Yellow Bullhead Catfish of Texas Club”!
Yellow bullhead catfish are one of the most common problems for the owners of Texas freshwater lakes. These fish are most common in impoundments that receive runoff or where people have tried to import wild fish into their pond. There are actually three types of bullhead catfish: i.) Yellow, ii.) Brown and iii.) Black. These fish go by many names, among which are mudcat, bullheads, and pollywogs. Yellow bullhead catfish, along with the other bullhead species, are considered to be undesirable or “trash fish” for several reasons.
The biggest reason bullheads are undesirable is that they are of no real value to the pond owner or the aquatic eco system. Bullhead catfish are bottom feeders and all the activity on the pond bottom can cause the water to become muddy, and severely impact the water quality in a negative manner. This problem becomes magnified because of their rapid reproduction rates, and it doesn’t take long to have tons of bullheads rooting around in and disturbing the bottom of your pond. Bottom feeding also gives the fish a muddy taste if they are consumed but because they seldom reach sizes over 1-2 lbs they pose little value as a food source. Yellow bullhead catfish, as well as other bullhead are scavengers as well as live feeders so they are in direct competition with other sport fish with the pond eco system. Because the disadvantages of bullheads far outweigh the advantages, they have little to no value to the eco system of freshwater lakes and most pond owners desire to eradicate these fish from their ponds.
Yellow bullhead catfish are very tolerant of poor water quality conditions and this makes them very hard to control. A toxin called Rotenone is about the only chemical that is effective at killing them. The draw back to this approach is that all desirable fish in the pond will also die. In many cases, if the infestation of bullheads is severe enough, the pond owner is better off “killing out” their pond and starting over. Many times this allows owners of freshwater lakes and ponds to perform other types of restoration work in the pond. A total kill of bullhead and possibly additional “trash fish” species almost always results in an improvement of water quality and overall pond performance and production, and usually proves to be a worthwhile investment for the pond owner. After applying Rotenone, 30-40 days must be allowed for the toxin to dissipate before restocking the freshwater lake with fish. Rotenone is a state restricted chemical and MUST be applied by a licensed applicator, such as the experienced applicators at Danbury Lake Management. If you suspect that you have a pond full of yellow bullhead catfish, please feel free to give us a call today at 979-922-8415. We have a diversified and well qualified staff to provide Texas lake management services anywhere in the state or surrounding states. Don’t delay, solving the problem sooner rather than later insures that you get back on track with your lake or pond and it can become that great freshwater lake asset you have dreamed about.