Channel Catfish

Ictalurus punctatus

Picture of a channel catfish in an aquarium
Image by Magnus Manske on Wikimedia, CC BY 2.0

Physical: The channel catfish is a catfish ranging from dark brown to slate gray in color. The color fades to a lighter brown-gray on their sides. Their dorsal fin has a small spine in it. A typical adult will grow to about 22 in (57 cm).

Habitat: Their native range spans northern Mexico to southern Canada, throughout the Great Lakes and Missouri and Mississippi river basins. They have been introduced to other parts of the country as fishing stock in streams, ponds, and reservoirs.

Feeding: Channel catfish eat small fish, crustaceans, clams, insects, and sometimes small mammals.

Breeding: The breeding season runs from April to July. Catfish will dig a hole in the riverbed or find ledges and hollow logs to hide their eggs in. Males will stay to guard the nest while the eggs incubate for 3-8 days, and then watch over the larvae until they’re self sufficient.

Connect with Us

Sign up for email or connect through social media.