Why is it, then, that the majority of fish in these ponds are bullheads? (Lake census supports this fact, not just our bad luck fishing.)
A.) They’re native. They have also been introduced into some areas - not everyone is so dismissive of their quality as a game fish. Their adaptability is a big plus.
b.) They’re tough as hell, able to tolerate a wider variety of water quality than most game fish.
c.) I believe they’re relatively fecund.
d.) They’ll eat damn near anything they stir up on the bottom.
e.) They’re about the easiest game fish to catch - they’ll hit anything and hit solidly, with little need to set a hook. Census numbers based on angler landing will be biased in their favor because of this.
Sure they will. Again bullheads are perfectly decent to eat, adaptable and easy to catch. Ameirus nebulosus ( brown bullheads, probably the ones you catch ), A. natalis ( yellow bullhead ), and A. catus ( white bullhead ) have all been widely introduced outside their original ranges.
Yep. Any of several members of the genus Ameirus, closely related to catfish genera like Ictalurus ( channel catfish among others ) or Noturus (stonecat, madtom ).