Those involved with the latest push hope decision-makers consider the catfish’s role in Kansas’ history. About 100 years ago, catfish weren’t as widespread. That changed thanks to Seth Way, a state employee in Pratt who uncovered a better way to reproduce the species and mass production ensued. Pratt then worked with W.E. “Bus” Hartley to start a commercial fish operation in 1946. The rest, they say, is history, and recent creel studies indicate the channel catfish as the most popular game-fish species in the state.