The Invasion of the Blue Catfish


Jamie Bowling nets a blue catfish, an invasive species in tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay (Credit: Joel McCord)

A few years ago, scientists began worrying that blue catfish, the much larger cousins of those squirmy, yellowish bottom feeders, might take over in Chesapeake Bay. They’re big—better than 100 pounds in some cases–voracious eaters and they’re prolific. So, at least one seafood wholesaler appropriated a slogan applied to other invasive fish–eat ‘em to beat ‘em—and began aggressively marketing them. And local watermen have found a new market and seemingly endless supply. Joel McCord has more.

The Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded by the participating stations with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.


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