Channel Catfish Is The Official State Fish Of Missouri. Missouri Adopted the channel catfish as the official Missouri State Fish in 1997. North America’s most numerous catfish, the channel catfish, is a whiskered bottom-feeder and one of the country’s largest fish. National Fish Of Missouri has very flavorful meat, which makes it a favorite of both anglers and fish farmers who raise millions of fish every year. In 1997, the channel catfish was adopted as the official State Fish Of Missouri and Nebraska. This bottom-dwelling fish is olive-brown to slate-blue on the back and sides with many small black spots and a silvery-white belly.
Missouri State Fish Channel catfish and blue catfish are distinguished from other “flathead catfish” by their deeply forked tail fin, their large size, and an upper jaw that projects over the lower jaw. Channel catfish have a very acute sense of smell and can detect odors as diluted as 1 part per 100 million in water. Large, deep streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds especially those with slow-moving water and sand, gravel, or rubble bottoms. State Fish Of Missouri Channel catfish are most abundant in large rivers with low or moderate current. Channel catfish eat insect larvae, small fish, freshwater shrimp, snails, crayfish, frogs, crabs, mollusks, and aquatic plants. Males select nest sites and guard the eggs. Nests are built in undercut riverbanks, tree roots, drift piles, under rock ledges, or in sunken debris. The female National Fish Of Missouri deposits a mass of 2,000 to 21,000 golden eggs at the bottom of the nest.
Fact About The Channel Catfish
- Large freshwater fish, such as flathead catfish and muskies, are the predators to channel catfish.
- The popularity of State Fish channel catfish as food directly contributed to the rapid growth of aquaculture of this species in the United States.
- Catfish do not have teeth and swallow their prey whole.
- Males may actually eat some of the eggs they are guarding if they are disturbed.
- Catfish are named for the “barbels” on their mouth that look like cat’s whiskers.