Document Type



Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Publication Date



North American Journal Of Fisheries Management


Freshwater fishes have been introduced outside their native range to establish recreational fisheries, but management conflicts arise when such introductions also result in potentially harmful effects on native species. In this case study, we focus on Blue Catfish Ictalurus furcatus, which were introduced in the Chesapeake Bay region and are now considered invasive. In many tidal tributaries, Blue Catfish have increased dramatically in abundance, expanded into high-salinity habitats (up to 21.8 psu), and negatively affected native species, prompting calls for the development of an effective management plan. However, management of this conflict species is complicated by multiple competing objectives, including control of population size, maintenance of trophy fisheries, and expansion of commercial fisheries for Blue Catfish. Seven management recommendations were advanced by the Invasive Catfishes Work Group to control the spread and limit the ecological impacts of Blue Catfish on native species. We highlight opportunities for addressing these complex management issues and guide our suggestions using results from research on invasive Blue Catfish ecology and population dynamics, as well as management of invasive species in general. A formal approach, such as structured decision analysis, is required to resolve conflicts among user groups and to address the wicked problem of Blue Catfish in the Chesapeake Bay region.


DOI: 10.1002/nafm.10552


Blue Catfish, Ictalurus furcatus, invasive species

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.