A multiyear tag and recapture study was conducted to determine whether channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus were migratory and if they had strong homing tendencies. Over 10,000 channel catfish were tagged from the lower Wisconsin River and adjacent waters of the upper Mississippi River during the 3-year sampling period. Data on movements were obtained from study recaptures and through tag returns and harvest information provided by sport anglers and commercial fishers. Channel catfish occupied relatively small home ranges during summer, migrated downstream to the upper Mississippi River in autumn, then migrated back up the Wisconsin River in spring to spawn and to occupy the same summer home sites they had used in previous summers. Fish size was a factor in the degree of fidelity to summer home sites, with larger fish showing greater fidelity.
Additional publication details
Seasonal migration and homing of channel catfish in the lower Wisconsin River, Wisconsin