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Becker, George C. / Fishes of Wisconsin

Bullhead catfish family - ictaluridae,   pp. 693-732 PDF (19.6 MB)

Page 701

Black Bullhead   701 
1976c). An improved market could definitely lead to 
an increase in the total catch of bullhead species, as 
there are many other areas of Lake Michigan and 
Green Bay where bullheads could be harvested. In 
1979 "bullheads" were bringing $2.20/kilo ($1/lb) on 
the retail market in Wisconsin food stores. 
  The black bullhead is a good farm pond species, 
and, in waters where winterkill is prevalent, it is fre- 
quently the only survivor. When bullheads are planted 
in a pond, only they should be planted, as they will 
probably overtake any other species present (Sharp 
1950). When the black bullhead becomes overabun- 
dant, as it usually does, stunting occurs; the result is 
a fish which is too small to be desirable. Carlander 
(1969) noted that growth tended to be faster in clear 
water than in turbid water, and in uncrowded rather 
than crowded conditions. In Iowa, bullheads trans- 
ferred from crowded to uncrowded conditions at age 
V grew from an average of 100 g (3.6 oz) to an average 
of 254 g (9 oz) in 3.5 months. In Kansas (Cross 1967), 
ponds in which fish were given a daily supplemental 
feeding of food pellets produced black bullheads 152 
mm (6 in) or more in the year that they hatched; these 
fish weighed 450 g (1 lb) or more as yearlings. All- 
baugh and Manz (1964) noted that when large 
amounts of food were artificially fed to bullheads there 
was greater growth in males than in females. 
  In the 1960s, Beaver Dam Lake (Dodge County) 
was treated with the toxicant rotenone to control 
carp. The result was an explosion of black bullheads 
by the mid-1970s, and in 1978 there was still a large, 
fishable bullhead population. According to Carlan- 
der (1969), after treatment of a reservoir in Iowa with 
rotenone, bullheads became very abundant; yet a 
few years later they were almost nonexistent in the 

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