This catfish is native to the Misissippi River drainage basin from the lower Great Lakes to the mouth of the Misissippi but also lives in other large rivers and as far south as Guatemala. It is closely related to the Channel Catfish and as a very popular game fish it has been introduced into some large reservoirs. This fish can grow to over 4 feet long and over 120 pounds. The current verified record is 124 pounds but reported landings during the late 1800s were over 350 pounds.
This fish is an opportunistic eater, feeding on live fish, crustacians
and what have you, as well as dead or injured fish or animals. It has been
known to try to eat scuba divers.
Illustration by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service = public domain.
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This catfish is very edible, considered almost as good as the Channel Catfish to which it is closely related.
Buying: This fish is farmed commercially, but not to nearly the extent of the Channel Cat, so it's not common in the markets. The main difference in appearance is that the channel cat has small scattered spots on its sides, not always obvious in the fish market. On the other hand, there's no real need to know if you have one or the other.
Prep & Cooking: Except for its often larger size this fish can be prepared and cooked just like Channel Catfish.sf_catbz* 090518 - www.clovegarden.com