Channel Catfish


Other Common Names:

Spotted cat, fiddler, channel cat, blue channel, river cat, white cat, willow cat, speckled cat, forked tail cat, silver cat


Scientific Name:

Ictalurus punctatus



Feeds at night on crayfish, fish, insects, and a variety of other natural foods



Prefers moving water with clean gravel, sand, or rocky bottom



Average length is 12 to 20 inches



Silvery-gray above fading to lighter shades on the belly; body marked with dark spots (may be obscure in adults); tail fin deeply forked; may reach lengths of about 20 inches by 10 years of age


Photo & text courtesy of:

Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Iowa Fish and Fishing by James R. Harlan and Everett B. Speaker with James Mayhew; color illustrations by Maynard F. Reece

Fishes of Wisconsin by George C. Becker

Fishes of Indiana published by Indiana Department of Conservation, Division of Fish and Game (1964)


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