Devou fishing hole’s 800 new whiskered friends

The first of 800 lbs. of hybrid catfish tumble into Prisoners Lake in Covington.

State’s FINs program stocks Prisoners Lake with catfish

COVINGTON, Ky. - The newest inhabitants of Prisoners Lake in Covington’s Devou Park arrived this morning with an unceremonious splash.
Actually, with six sustained splashes.
The new arrivals are catfish, about 800 pounds of them, each weighing about a pound.
The Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources delivered the fish as part of its FINs (Fishing in Neighborhoods) program, whose aim “is to create quality fishing opportunities near cities of all sizes throughout the state.”
Located in Devou Park, the 3.8-acre Prisoners Lake is a popular fishing spot. At about 26 feet deep at its deepest point, the lake also includes largemouth bass and bluegill and is the site of Covington Parks & Recreation Division’s Fishing Derby for youth every May.

The fish delivered today are actually hybrid catfish, with male genes from blue catfish and female genes from channel cats, bred at the Pfeiffer Fish Hatchery in Frankfort. The fish are designed to be more disease resistant than traditional river natives and are generally more hardy, exhibiting what biologists call “hybrid vigor,” or heterosis.

The hybrid catfish are designed to be disease resistant and hardy.

As released, they’re about 18 months old but over their lifespan can grow up to about 20 pounds.
The fish were delivered via a truck this morning by KDFWR tech 2 Adam Cecil and tech 3 Andrew Redden.
With the truck backed down the ramp to the water’s edge, Redden lifted a rod that opened the drain hatch on one of the truck’s six 220-gallon tanks. With that, catfish tumbled into the lake, hit the water, and swam away.

KDFWR technicians Adam Cecil, left, and Andrew Redden prepare to release more fish.

Redden and Cecil repeated the operation for each of the remaining five tanks.
Prisoners Lake is also stocked regularly by KDFWR with rainbow trout. Most recently, 1,000 pounds of trout were released in November 2018, and 500 pounds were released in February of this year.

One of six 220-gallon tanks on the truck.

Anglers ages 16 to 64 must purchase a fishing license from the state in order to fish in Prisoners Lake, with a couple of exceptions. The daily creel limit for catfish in FINs program lakes is four, and there are other special regulations as well.
For more information on the FINs program, fishing regulations, and licenses, see HERE.
The last of the hybrid catfish prepare to slide out the chute into the lake.

As they closed the hatches and prepared to drive away this morning, Cecil looked at a handful of fishermen on the banks of Prisoners, including a young boy prepared to cast not far from the truck.
“That’s what I love to see,” he said.

KDFWR started the Fishing in Neighborhoods program in 2006 and now stocks 44 lakes around the state.

# # #