Have you heard of
? What about
? Maybe you have heard of the catfish?
The name “catfish” comes from its cat-like whiskers. These whiskers, or barbels, are organs around the mouth that are used for touch, taste, and to find food. Catfish have sharp spines in their pectoral and dorsal fins. Some catfish species like the Tadpole Mad Tom, or
, use these fins to deliver venom.
There are many types of catfish, but in North America four species stand out. The largest is the Flathead Catfish, or
, which can grow up to five feet long and can weigh more than 100 pounds. This type of catfish is popular for sport fishing and found mostly in the eastern United States. It has been introduced in the western United States in large bodies of water that have lots of hiding places
The second largest catfish is the Channel Catfish, or
, which can grow up to three feet long and can weigh over 50 pounds. It also is caught for sport and for human consumption.
The last two types of catfish are the Bullhead species: Yellow Bullhead, or
and Brown Bullhead, or
. Both can grow up to 18 inches long and weigh four to six pounds. These are the most common in the United States.
There are a lot of facts about various types of catfish. No matter what catfish you catch, you can always be certain that—with a little lemon pepper—it will taste great.
The Encyclopedia of North Animals