Principal Investigator: 
Geoff Smith (geofsmith@pa.gov)
Institution: 
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Seagrant Topics: 

The primary focus of this project will be to compare the age and growth patterns of Flathead Catfish in invasive and native populations within Pennsylvania. In addition, we will perform a meta-analysis of Flathead Catfish growth from populations across the U.S., both native and invasive populations, in an effort to put observed Pennsylvania growth dynamics within a broader regional context. This project will provide us the opportunity to utilize data collected under a currently funded PA Sea Grant project in conjunction with new data from unsampled populations identified under the scope of this project to better understand current distribution and population characteristics. These data will then allow us to populate models currently being developed to better direct Flathead Catfish management in Pennsylvania as identified in the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) Catfish Management Plan as well as support multijurisdictional and multispecies resource management efforts by Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) and National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Sustainable Fisheries Goal Implementation Team (GIT) that may be affected by invasive catfish. In addition, quantifying the spatial variability in growth of a species, such as Flathead Catfish, both within its native and introduced ranges and quantifying large-scale patterns may provide further insight into how this species might respond to future introductions or range expansions made possible by changing environmental conditions. By increasing the spatial extent of the area being studied and synthesizing data from multiple populations, meta-analysis results can provide insight into broad-scale patterns in growth that can be used to help guide Flathead Catfish management efforts.

Research Year: 
2018
Funding Amount: 
$94,869
Current or Past research?: 
Current Research

Main Office: Tom Ridge Environmental Center 301 Peninsula Dr., Suite 3 Erie, PA 16505 814-217-9011