Channel Catfish ( Ictalurus punctatus ). www.lmrcc.org. By Josh Otten. Channel Catfish ( Ictalurus punctatus ). Also known as spotted cat, blue cat, river catfish, fiddler, willow cat Identification: skin instead of scales upper jaw longer than the lower jaw whiskers around mouth
By Josh Otten
Also known as spotted cat, blue cat, river catfish, fiddler, willow cat
anal fin has 24-29 soft rays
tail not deeply forked
30 or more rays in the anal fin
All photos http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us
Becker, G. C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. Univ. Wis. Press, Madison.
Carlander, K. D. 1969. Handbook of freshwater fishery biology. Vol. 1. Life history data on freshwater fishes of the United States and Canada, exclusive of the Perciformes. Iowa St. Univ. Press, Ames.
Jenkins, R.E and N.M. Burkhead. 1993. Freshwater Fishes of Virginia. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland.
Robinson, E.H., M.H. Li, and B.B. Manning. 2001. A Practical Guide to Nutrition, Feeds, and Feeding of Catfish (Second Revision). Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station Bulletin 1113. Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi.
Scott, W. B. and E. J. Crossman. 1973. Freshwater fishes of Canada. Fish. Res. Bd. Can. Bull. 184:1-966.
Photo by: Ohio Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Photo by: E.R. Degginger
Other Local Names:
dark olive to black, belly
white to bright yellow, tail fin slightly notched with light band at base
quiet river backwaters, impoundments, ponds, lakes, and slow moving streams typically over soft bottoms; tolerates muddy water, warm temps, and low oxygen concentrations
Chin Barbel Color
Light band at base of tail fin
Gray to Black
Mottled Sides and Back
Gray to Black
White, not pigmented
Dark Spots on Sides
White to Dusky
insects, small fish, crayfish, frogs, plant material (live or dead); basically anything it can get in its mouth.
female excavates a saucer-shaped nest in early summer and lays on average 2,000-6,000 eggs; one or both parents protect young until one to two inches long
common, sometimes considered an undesirable species
Ouachita National Forest
Murray State University
popular species with Iowa’s anglers; in 1981 50,000 harvested in Mississippi river worth ~ $10,000
serves as prey species for piscivores when small; one of a few species able to survive under poor lake conditions
Los Vegas Wash Coordination Committee
Eddy, S. and J.C. Underhill. 1978. How to Know the Freshwater Fishes. 3rd Edition. McGraw-Hill, Boston. 215 pp.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Iowa’s threatened and endangered species. Available athttp://www. iowadnr.com/fish/iafish/blb-card.html. October 2004.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Minnesota Fish. Available at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/kids/fish/bull- head.html. October 2004.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Fish and Wildlife. Available at http://www.dnr.state.oh.us/wildlife/Fish- ing/aquanotesfishid/chancat.htm. October 2004.
Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. Freshwater Fishes of North America North of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 432 pp.
Pflieger, W. L. 1997. The Fishes of Missouri, Revised Edition. Missouri Department of Conservation, Jefferson City Missouri.References: Ameiurus melas
(Ameiurus nebulosus, LeSueur)
Other common names: Bullhead, horned pout, red cat, creek cat, mud cat, speckled bullhead, and common bullhead.
Other scientific names:Ictalurus nebulosus (Armstrong 1962).
Distribution: Not common anywhere in IA, but is widely distributed in the northern part of the state. Very few found in interior waters. Most taken from the upper Mississippi backwater sloughs.
A. Nebulosus is native and common to the Atlantic and Gulf slope drainages.
Habitat: Slow moving or stagnant parts of rivers, and streams, also ponds, lakes, and pools that offer a soft bottom.
Diet: Brown Bullheads are schooling bottom feeders that feed primarily on crustaceans, insect larvae, worms, snails, crayfish, and small fish, though they will eat virtually anything available, either alive or dead. A large part of their diet is midgefly larvae, or “bloodworms” which they pick up off of the soft bottom ooze. Teeth in pads on both top and bottom jaws; used for tearing food. They seem to have ravenous appetites and will eat day or night.
Reproduction: Spawn in late April or May. Males fan out a saucer-shaped nest where females lay 2,000 to 10,000+ eggs that hatch in 5-8. Both parents guard the eggs during incubation and herd young around for several weeks after hatching. Young reach 2-1/2 – 4 inches in first year and mature in 3 years. Can reach two pounds. (IA Record: 2-1/2 pounds, no specific species given though. World Record: 6 lbs, 1oz., NY)
Economic/Recreational Importance: Popular game species where they exist.
Ecological Importance:Not much due to their lack of distribution and non-predacious lifestyle.
Conservation Status: Abundant. Limit is same as catfish (?): DBL = 8 lake, 15 stream, PL = 30. No limit in Mississippi River.
Other: Can reach 2+ pounds under ideal conditions, but most commonly range from 8-10 inches and less than a pound
Konrad Schmidt, University of Minnesota
Armstrong, P.B., and J.S. Child (Illus.) 1962. Stages in the development of Ictalurus nebulosus. Syracuse University Press, NY.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources. IowaDNR Fish and Fishing: Brown Bullhead. Available at: http://www.iowadnr.com/fish/iafish/brb-card.html. October 2004.
LandBigFish.com. 2004. Brown Bullhead. http://www.landbigfish.com/fish/fish.cfm?ID=22. October 2004.
___. 2004. Black Bullhead. http://www.landbigfish.com/fish/fish.cfm?ID=20. October 2004.
Mayhew, J. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa. http://www.iowadnr.com/fish/iafish/browbull.html
Page, L.M. and B.M. Burr. 1991. Freshwater Fishes of North America North of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.
Where Can I find Flatheads:
Distribution: Most of Iowa and its mid to large
size rivers. Common in many other areas
of the US also.
Noodling- The art of sticking your
arm in a hole hoping a catfish latches
down on it so you can pull it out.
Some think its crazy, some think
it’s the best thing in the world.
Flatheads are the oldest fish behind
Mayhew, J. (editor). 1987. Iowa Fish and Fishing. Iowa Department. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, Iowa. 323 pp.
Department of Natural Resources. 2004. Iowa DNR Fish and Fishing http://www.iowadnr.com/fish/iafish/catfishf.html
CatfishnFlatheads. 2003. http://www.flatheadcat.com/
By Emily Mae Hoffman
University of Michigan
Fundulus notatus. August 2004. Available at http://www.fishbase.org/Summary/SpeciesSummary.cfm?ID=3197. October 2004.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources. 2003. Illinois Fishes Families/Species. Available at http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/education/fish/topmin.htm. October 2004.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 1987. IowaDNR Fish and Fishing. Available at http://www.iowadnr.net/fish/iafish/blackstr.html. October 2004.
Natural History Fishes
Iowa Department of Natural Resources. 2004.
Fishes of Minnesota: Brook Stickleback. 2003. http://www.gen.umn.edu/research/fish/fishes/brook_stickleback.html
Carter, G.R., and J.D. Williams. 2002. National Audubon Society Field Guide to Fishes Revised Edition. pp. 270-271. Chanticleer Press, Inc, New York.
Page, L.M., and B.M. Burr. 1991. pp.242-243. Freshwater Fishes of North America North of Mexico. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.