State Fish of Tennessee

There Are Two Official State Fish Of Tennessee.

  1. Official State Commercial Fish of Tennessee: Channel Catfish
  2. Official Tennessee State Sport Fish: Smallmouth Bass


Official State Commercial Fish of Tennessee

Channel Catfish Is The Official State Fish of Tennessee. The Channel Catfish (Ictalurus lacustris) was adopted as the official state commercial fish of Tennessee in 1988. North America’s most numerous catfish, the Tennessee State Fish channel catfish, Is a whiskered bottom-feeder and one of the country’s largest fish. It has very flavorful meat, which makes it a favorite of both anglers and fish farmers who raise millions of fish every year. 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. National Fish of Tennessee 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. State Fish of Tennessee Channel catfish have a very acute sense of smell and can detect odors as diluted as 1 part per 100 million in water. 



Length: Up to 4 ft (130 cm);average of 2 ft (65 cm)

Weight: Up to 58 lbs (26 kg);average of 3 lbs (1.4 kg)



Up to 14 years



National Fish of Tennessee Channel catfish are most abundant in large rivers with low or moderate current.



Tennessee State Fish Channel Catfish eat insect larvae, small fish, freshwater shrimp, snails, crayfish, frogs, crabs, mollusks, and aquatic plants.



Official Tennessee State Sport Fish

Smallmouth Bass Is The Official State Fish Of Tennessee. Tennessee Adopted Smallmouth Bass as the official state Game Fish Of Tennessee In 2005. The Tennessee State Fish largemouth bass is highly prized as a sport fish for its size and fighting ability. It lives in clear, quiet, vegetation-rich waters, favoring water shallower than 2.5 meters. Abundant vegetation provides protection against predators and also harbors prey, which the bass ambushes from spots where it lies in wait. Its native range runs north as far as Hudson Bay, west to the Rockies, and south through Florida and into northern Mexico. State Fish Of Tennessee introduced range includes areas of the U.K., Europe, Russia. Younger largemouth consume mostly small baitfish, amphipods, and insects. Adults consume smaller fish, crawfish, frogs, snakes, salamanders, bats and even small water birds, mammals, and baby alligators. 



Length: Up to 21 inches (53 cm)

Weight: Up to 25 pounds (11 kg)



Up to 15 years

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