Consumption and Growth Patterns of Flathead Catfish Derived From a Bioenergetics Model

Jakob C. Tetzlaff*, H. Jared Flowers§, William E. Pine III
School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Box 110600, Gainesville, FL 32653, USA.

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© 2010 Tetzlaff et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Box 110600, Gainesville, FL 32653, USA; Tel: 352-392-1793; Fax: 352-393-3672; E-mail:§ Present address: North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695


Bioenergetics models offer a useful framework for assessing the consumptive demand on ecosystems from nonnative fish. Consumption estimates from bioenergetics models can be combined with estimates of population abundance to quantify population-level consumption. This study applies a new bioenergetics modeling framework, developed by Walters and Essington (this volume), to estimate bioenergetics parameters using field data commonly collected from population monitoring programs. We used growth increment and size-at-age data to estimate the parameters of the bioenergetics model described by Walters and Essington (this volume) for an introduced population of Pylodictis olivaris from the Neuse River, North Carolina. The model fit the observed growth data well and predictions of consumption patterns were consistent with observed feeding patterns. The estimated consumption pattern from the general bioenergetics model represents the first characterization of adult flathead catfish consumption. Through use of capture-recapture data, the Walters and Essington bioenergetics model is able to integrate consumption estimates with growth and demographic data. Although further validation of the model is necessary, the modeling framework provides a straightforward approach to assessing the consumptive demand of fish populations.

Keywords: Bioenergetics models, Food consumption rates, Nonnative fish, Pylodictis olivaris.