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See also: Catfish Day Proclamation; Article on Catfish; Catfish Recipes


There are almost 2,900 species of catfish. The smallest are about 1 inch long and the largest, the European Wels (Silurus glanis), can exceed 15 feet in length and weigh over 650 pounds.

There are electric catfish, air breathing catfish, walking catfish, catfish that swim upside down, grunting (talking) catfish, transparent catfish and catfish that look like banjos.

Channel Catfish

Catfish have many external taste buds and some are located on their barbels - which means they can taste something by simply touching it with their barbels.

The Channel Catfsh (Ictalurus lacustris punctatus) was designated as the Official Commercial Fish of Tennessee in 1988.

Missouri designated the Channel Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) as the Official State Fish in 1997.

Nebraska also designated the Channel Catfish as its Official State Fish in 1997.

June 25 was proclaimed as National Catfish Day by President Ronald Reagan in 1987.
(See Official Proclamation)

The record size for a blue catfish is 124 pounds, caught in Illinois.

Bullhead Catfish

Belzoni, Mississippi is known as the Catfish Capital of the World.

Paris, Tennessee is home to the "World's Biggest Fish Fry" held the last full week of April each year.  Over 12,000 pounds of Catfish are consumed by visitors during the six day festival.
Library of Congress Local Legacies Project

A record flathead catfish that weighed 123 pounds, was caught by Ken Paulie on the Withlacoochee River in Florida, May 14, 1998.



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