Trophy blues can grow to over 100 lbs. Small channels consume invertebrates, but larger ones may eat fish. Both male and female catfish guard the nest after eggs are deposited until hatch. They commonly weigh 20-40 pounds and can live up to 40 years. This catfish tends to spend time in deep holes to escape constant strong currents, but it will swim … White catfish are mostly carnivorous bottom feeders starting on amphipods, shrimp and insect larvae as juveniles before shifting their diet towards fish and large invertebrates as they get larger. Blue catfish are opportunistic bottom-feeders. Like channel catfish, the blue catfish pursues a varied diet, but it tends to eat fish earlier in life. We have found vegetation, various clams, mud crabs, birds, snakes, frogs, muskrats, fish, jellyfish, aquatic insects, mulberries, and even corn in catfish stomachs. Divide the butter into two slices, and place on top of the lemon. As you can imagine, their diet reflects their large size. The most commonly eaten species in the United States are the channel catfish and the blue catfish, both of which are common in the wild and increasingly widely farmed. Blue catfish are voracious eaters--they consume other fish, crustaceans, and even other catfish. The diet of a blue catfish periodically changes throughout its development, expanding from small invertebrates to a larger variety of fish, worms, clams, small crustaceans, mussels, crabs, insects and even frogs, as they age. Their diet changes based on their age and where they live. Stocking: Comparable to channel catfish in stocking rates blue catfish a fertilized pond can support 50-100 fish per acre, while an unfertilized pond is recommended to be stocked at the rate of 25-50 per acre. A blue catfish will also have 30 -36 anal fin rays. They can also be found in south Texas all the way to northern Guatemala. Catfish are stocked in early spring and can be fed a pelleted diet to increase growth. “Blue catfish are feeding on species that we would consider to be of conservation concern — things like river herrings, blue crabs, American eels,” Bromilow said. Until now. Catfish are stocked in early spring and can be fed a pelleted diet to increase growth. It is similar to the Channel Catfish, but differs by having a long, straight-edged (vs. shorter, rounded) anal fin and no dark spots on the body.Adults can grow to about 5.5 ft. (150 lbs. Description: Blue catfish have a forked tail and are very similar to channel catfish in looks. They can also be found in south Texas all the way to northern Guatemala. Says Tim Sughrue of Congressional Seafood Company Which is good for developing the fish’s flavor but bad for the bay’s delicate ecosystem. Overwhelmingly, they eat vegetation and invertebrates, but as they get larger, their diet turns toward fish. This year catfish is the big catch. Email subscriber privacy policy Managers hope to increase public awareness of blue catfish. Blue catfish larger than … E-Newsletter Archive. any personal information to the agency. and cookie statement. Blue catfish have a varied diet, turning piscivorous after maturation to adulthood. main channels, tributaries, and impoundments of major river systems. From gigantic Catfish, to tasty Bass species, to prehistoric Paddlefish – they all call these waters home! All sorts of things turned up in their stomachs, even muskrats, snakes and birds. Although they normally feed on the bottom, channels also will feed at the surface and at mid-depth. These fish have primarily carnivorous feeding habits, which means that they eat other animals. The largest catfish you will find in North America is the blue catfish. They out-compete the native species for both habitats and food. However, their diet varies seasonally, and in spring, summer and fall, a large portion of the blue catfish’s diet is made up of underwater vegetation. Enjoying Blue Catfish. Blue Catfish is an invasive fish species in the Chesapeake Bay but increasing commercial harvest and consumption is one way ... As part of a healthy diet, eating fish and other seafood offer heart health benefits and lower the risk of obesity. Flathead Catfish have taken a backseat for many Bay-region aquatic scientists to Blue Catfish, as Blue Catfish are more abundant. Young flathead catfish feed mostly on invertebrates such as worms, insects and crayfish. Individuals larger than eight inches eat fish and large invertebrates. They are native to major rivers in Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi. Catching their prey becomes all the more easy if it is already wounded or dead, and blue catfish are noted for feeding beneath marauding schools of striped bass in open water in reservoirs or feeding on wounded baitfish that have been washed through damspillways or power-generation turbines. For instance, in the James River their diet switches from primarily vegetation and invertebrates to mostly fish when they reach 20 inches. Blue catfish have the ability to “taste” their surroundings with sensory tissues on their barbels and skin, which they use to detect and hunt prey. A blue cat as small as 4 inches in length may eat some fish, but most of the diet of smaller blue catfish is composed of small invertebrates. Because like many area residents, the fish relocated here. The number of anal fin rays is 30 to 35. Blue catfish lack scales and possess an adipose fin, as well as a single, serrated spine in the dorsal and pectoral fins. Diet of the Blue Catfish. Biology and Life History: The blue catfish is the largest freshwater sport fish found in Texas. [CDATA[ (function(i,s,o,g,r,a,m){i['GoogleAnalyticsObject']=r;i[r]=i[r]||function(){ (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o), m=s.getElementsByTagName(o)[0];a.async=1;a.src=g;m.parentNode.insertBefore(a,m) })(window,document,'script','//','ga'); ga('create', 'UA-45983997-1', ''); ga('send', 'pageview'); // ]]> Click for a hub of Extension resources related to the current COVID-19 situation. That’s because unlike the farmed variety, which eat a diet of corn-and-soy feed, blue cats feed on medium-size fish like menhaden and white perch. Identification: A large, heavy-bodied catfish with a deeply-forked caudal fin.Color is pale blue to gray on the back and sides, fading to white on the lower sides and belly. Common Names: Blue Cat, hump-back blue, Silver cat. Blue catfish, the invasive fish with a big appetite that is overwhelming many Chesapeake Bay tributaries, is probably here to stay. They eat the same plants, insects, fish, and blue crabs that native fish depend on, and then eat the native fish, too! The blue catfish is most similar to the channel cat. Children under 13 years of age must have a parent/guardian's consent before providing Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory, Texas A&M College of Agrculture and Life Sciences, Aquaculture, Fisheries, & Pond Management, Teaching, Research, Extension and Service. Because both species consume fish, and The blue catfish is generally slate blue on the back to silvery/white on its underside and has a deeply forked tail. Blue catfish feed primarily on fish, mussels, snails, insects and crayfish. Place 2 12”x12” heavy-duty foil squares on your work surface. The diet of flathead catfish tends to be dominated by fish and the onset of piscivory occurs at a smaller size (>200 mm TL; Chandler 1998) than for blue catfish. Smaller individuals eat mostly plankton and other tiny organisms. Manage My Subscriptions, archive,, Place the blue catfish … Why haven’t we heard of it before? Although invertebrates still comprise the major portion of the diet, blue catfish as small as four inches in length have been known to consume fish. Some of the different types of plants that they eat include algae, seeds, underwater plants, and more. | See temporary closures and business changes, Texas Farm and Ranch Land Conservation Program. A humped back is displayed in front of the dorsal fin. Often a hybrid cross between a blue and a channel catfish is farmed. Major foods are aquatic insects, crayfish, mollusks, crustaceans and fishes. Individuals larger than eight inches eat fish and large invertebrates. Coloration is usually slate blue faded to a white belly. A channel catfish will have dark spots, whereas a blue catfish will not. Common Names: Blue Cat, hump-back blue, Silver cat, Fork tail cat. They are native to major rivers in Ohio, Missouri, Mississippi. The Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) and Blue Catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) feed mainly at night using taste buds in the sensitive barbells and throughout the skin to locate prey. Blue Catfish. What catfish eat is as diverse as the many species themselves. The eyes of the blue catfish are placed in the lower half of the head. Most are caught on trot lines with a variety of baits, but they can also be caught with a hook and line. Blue catfish commonly attain weights of 20 to 40 pounds, and may reach weights well in excess of … To avoid predation, yo… However, a study published in 2017 indicated the feeding habits of Flathead Catfish may be more alarming as their diets are more fish-based (click here to read the article). Flathead catfish are eaten by alligators, water snakes, turtles, larger fish, and humans. Blue catfish are opportunistic predators and eat any species of fish they can catch, along with crawfish, freshwater mussels, frogs, and other readily available aquatic food sources. His team sampled over 16,000 blue catfish stomachs from the James, Pamunkey, Mattaponi, and Rappahannock Rivers and saw that catfish have extremely broad diets including vegetation, detritus, mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. They can reach as large as 115 pounds, and are considered an excellent food fish. They want people to understand the effects of blue catfish on the Bay and to know that they are delicious and nutritious. //