Channel Catfish Facts

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 Channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) is North America‘s most numerous catfish species. It is the official fish of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee, and is informally referred to as a “channel cat”. In the United States, they are the most fished catfish species with approximately 8 million anglers targeting them per year. The popularity of channel catfish for food has contributed to the rapid expansion of aquaculture of this species in the United States.

Channel catfish possess very keen senses of smell and taste. At the pits of their nostrils (nares) are very sensitive odor sensing organs with a very high concentration of olfactory receptors. In channel catfish, these organs are sensitive enough to detect several amino acids at about one part per 100 million in water.  Channel catfish have taste buds distributed over the surface of its entire body.

Channel catfish have a top-end size of about 40–50 pounds (18–23 kg). The world record channel catfish weighed 58 pounds, and was taken from the Santee-Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina, on July 7, 1964. Realistically, a channel catfish over 20 lb (9 kg) is a spectacular specimen, and most catfish anglers view a 10-lb (4.5-kg) fish as a very admirable catch.

All species of catfishes can generate sound through stridulation, and many produce sounds through drumming.[11] Stridulation consists of the clicking or grinding of bony parts on the fish’s pectoral fins and pectoral girdle, and drumming consists of the contraction of specialized sonic muscles with subsequent reverberation through the swimbladder.

Channel catfish are omnivores, and can be caught using a variety of natural and prepared baits, including crickets, nightcrawlers, minnows, shad, freshwater drum, crawfish, frogs, bullheads, sunfish, chicken liver and suckers. Catfish have even been known to take Ivory soap as bait and even raw steak.


Channel catfish, which is ideally suited to a pond environment, quickly became the standard species for pay lakes . These fish are hardy, tolerate dense stocking, and thrive in a wide range of environmental conditions. They are easily spawned under proper conditions, yet will not spawn when placed in the grow-out ponds, which gives the farmer control over the production process. Fish newly hatched from the egg, called fry, readily accept manufactured feed and continue to eat feed until they are harvested at a weight of one to three pounds. The catfish’s most important asset is its good taste which drives the demand for this healthy food. The white channel catfish flesh is firm with a mild flavor allowing it to be prepared and seasoned in a number of ways, such as fried, broiled, grilled, or baked.


Sources – Wikipedia –