Investigating the catch returns and growth rate of wels catfish, Silurus glanis, using mark–recapture


  • J. R. Britton,

  • J. Pegg,

  • R. Sedgwick,

  • R. Page

Rob Britton, Centre for Conservation Ecology, School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset, BH12 5BB, UK (e-mail:


Abstract In January 2004, 46 wels catfish, Silurus glanis L., between 51 and 135 cm total length were tagged and released into a 0.4 ha recreational, catch and release, lake fishery in the UK, and their recapture by anglers monitored throughout the year. Of the 46 tagged fish, 16 were recaptured by anglers during 170 capture events. Some individual fish were captured up to 26 times. Catfish <75 cm appeared to be the least susceptible to capture and fish >100 cm most susceptible. Frequency of captures increased with temperatures >10 °C and peaked between June and August. Selected recapture weight data were used to produce a mass specific growth equation and revealed specific growth rate was a decreasing function of body mass over the size range of the recaptured fish. Their growth was slower than fish from elsewhere in their distribution range.