This was predicted last year: HEA End of Year Report 2020
“Feed numbers indicate there will be less
fish available to kill next year compared
to this year. The labor shortage is also
limiting our and others’ ability to put up
frozen inventory to have to sell in spring/
summer when we expect supply to be
Another report indicates this will be a long term issue:
"Now, catfish prices are starting to take another dive, just as the cost of feed is about to go up due to this year’s drought. The latest national price average reported by USDA in May was $1.04 per pound.
For some farmers, the recent price recovery is too little, too late.
Wanda Hill, a catfish producer near Belzoni, Miss., the self-styled catfish capital of the world, estimates about half of the catfish farmers who were in business five to 10 years ago have gotten out, and she’s about to join them."
I think it will be up to consumer demand to and price tolerance to get fresh catfish readily available again.