New Flathead Catfish Regulation

2015 is the first year that the IDNR Division of Fisheries is putting regulations on the harvest of flathead catfish. The Division of Fisheries is concerned about the overharvest of this large fish species. Because flathead catfish are so long-lived, overharvest damage to the population might not be noted for many years and recovery could take decades, so the Division of Fisheries is taking these steps to be proactive in their management.

New regulations are now in effect on the Fox River from the Wisconsin border through the Chain O' Lakes to the mouth at the Illinois River, including the Fox River tributaries. The regulation for this area allows harvest of 1 fish per day 28" or larger and 2 fish between 13" and less than 28".

On the Wabash and Ohio Rivers, in cooperation with the states of Indiana and Kentucky, the new flathead catfish regulation is 1 fish per day 35" or larger and unlimited harvest between 13" and less than 35". (Blue catfish in the Wabash and Ohio Rivers have the same regulation as the flatheads.)

In all three of the rivers listed, there is no harvest allowed under 13".