There are many types of catfish but we will focus on three species of catfish. The three species are the channel catfish, Flathead catfish and blue catfish.
They all have identical features but differ in color, size fin shape and habit. It is useful for a catfish farmer to have a basic knowledge of different species of catfish including their habitat and feeding preferences.
The flathead catfish- Pylodictis Olivaris)
The Flathead catfish comes in three different colors according to the regions they are found. You can find brown and pale yellow variety including the molted black catfish.
Although they look different in coloration they are basically the same fish. The anal fin of the Flathead catfish is short and rounded with less than 29 rays.
They have the capacity to exceed a weight of 120ibs making them ideal for fish anglers. The Flathead is popular in American and is farmed both for consumption and sports.
There length is also highly impressive measuring and astounding four to five feet in length when fully mature.
Flathead s have yellowish brown color with soft lighter underbelly and prefer hiding in the mud. The Fish derives its name from its shovel like head and projected lower jaw.
What does Flathead catfish eat?
Flathead catfish eat only live fish and rarely scavenge and favor invertebrates, crayfish and worms. They are not averse to catching smaller fish to eat including their young.
Flathead spawn mid year when water temperatures are in the region of eighty degrees. The adult fish finds hollowed out logs, shrubs, cracks and caves to spawn.
A single female Flathead catfish releases an estimated 1250 eggs per pound of body weight.
Flathead prefer deep water during the day and can be found in crevasses, undercut and logs. They are predominantly solitary but feed mostly in shallow water while slow moving rivers, creeks and lakes are there favorite habitat.
Channel catfish-lictalurus punctatus
Channel catfish come in brown and grey color and their young has dark spots. They have deeply forked tails and seldom reach 35ibs in weight and their curved anal fin has about 25-30rays.
The channel catfish distinguishing feature is the deeply forked tail and protruding upper jaw.
Channel catfish are found abundantly in large streams, lakes, rivers and artificial reservoirs. They reach sexual maturity in three to seven years and about eleven to thirteen inches long.
They spawn in seventy five degree water among shrubs, logs, caves and crevasses. The male dutifully guards the fertilized eggs and are not adverse to cannibalism.
What channel catfish eats?
They are omnivorous in nature which is a great advantage to the species. They eat fish, plans, insects, crustaceans, worms and mussels while the young prefer insects.
Channel catfish are abundant in nature are delicious and highly priced fish.
The Blue Catfish- Ictalurus Furcatus
Blue catfish is known by many names which include high finned blue, blue tail, Mississippi white and hump back blue. They fish are whitish blue, dark blue, pale white and sometime black.
They have forked tail, straight anal fin 30 to 35 rays and can exceed 80ibs. The slat blue coloration is mostly found on the back and the belly is whitish.
The blue catfish feeds on a variety of food like invertebrates, smaller fish, crustaceans and insects. They reach average sizes of about 35 pounds but much larger fish topping 200 pounds have been caught.
Blue catfish are opportunistic feeders killing injured fish or feeding alongside bass fish.
Spawning and habitat
Catfish have identical spawning habits searching for hollows, dark spots and caves to spawn. Blue catfish are large fish and dominate their habitat.
The fish has a long range and can be found in many places in America. They live in lakes, rives, tributaries and reservoirs are delicious to eat and make excellent table food.
|Blue Catfish||Slate blue to white||Flat anal fin||Anal fin 30-35 rays||Crustaceans, fish|
|Channel catfish||Olive brown to grey||Rounded anal fin||Anal fin has 24-30 rays||Worms, invertebrates|
|Flat head catfish||Brown/pale yellow and molten black||Short rounded anal fin||Anal fin has less the28 rays||Crayfish, fish, worms|