Channel Catfish

The Channel Catfish body is pale bluish-olive above and bluish-white below, with spots that vary from a few to many over much of the body. These spots may not occur on larger fish. Their barbels extend from the chin and upper jaw and they have no scales. Their tails are deeply forked with pointed lobes and both dorsal and pectoral fins have strong, sharp spines. Larger fish may be distinguished from the white catfish by the longer black barbels and more streamlined body form. Their tail is also more deeply forked with a head thinner and less rounded than white catfish.
SCIENTIFIC NAME
Ictalurus punctatus
CLASSIFICATION
Fish
LIFE SPAN
16-24 Years
SIZE
10-35 ” | 1-33 lbs
STATE CONSERVATION STATUS
  • Unprotected
FEDERAL CONSERVATION STATUS
Least Concern
GAME STATUS
Game
  1. Washoe
  2. Humboldt
  3. Pershing
  4. Churchill
  5. Mineral
  6. Lyon
  7. Douglas
  8. Carson City
  9. Storey
  1. Elko
  2. Lander
  3. Eureka
  4. White Pine
  1. Esmeralda
  2. Nye
  3. Lincoln
  4. Clark

Habitat & Range

Channel Catfish are native to central North America between the Rockies and Appalachian Mountains from the Great Lakes region south to Texas. It is found in warm water streams and reservoirs in northwestern and southern Nevada.

Threats

  • Illness During Stocking

Natural History

Channel Catfish can be found in many waters throughout the U.S. and remain continue to offer recreational fishing opportunities for anglers. Feeding primarily on small fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and even small mammals, it’s been reported that anglers have witnessed them feeding on small birds. Channel Cats have taste buds on the interior on their mouth but also, over their body, making them a tonque with fins! Depending on the climate, spawning happens from April through July. It may only be for the immediate season, but Channel Catfish pairs, are monogamous and their extensive courtship is established earlier in the year.

Fun Facts

After mating has occurred the male chases away the female and then guards the eggs until they hatch