Cordele- Male catfish are going on what some may call a breeding journey. First, they are weighed, and then they are placed into ponds to breed with their female counterparts.
Cordele Hatchery manager, Mark McMillan says, "The male induces the female to lay her eggs by chewing on her head, which is very unique. "
After the mating process, it takes the female about four to six days to lay new eggs for the male to fertilize. It's a process that happens once a year . McMillan adds, "At that time, the female will come out of the cans, and she will leave. Then, the male will stay behind to protect the new fish."
McMillan says many people don't realize this process affects fishing programs all over the state. He adds, "We raise most of the catfish for the state of Georgia. This helps fishing programs everywhere. Kids and adults learn more about fish and wildlife."
Even though catfish don't breed often, when they do, it's well worth the wait because millions of new fish come to life.
The Department of Natural Resources sponsors Fishing Rodeos for kids all over the state, so children can learn about fishing. The next rodeo in South Georgia will be held in Cordele in July 5.