Virtual Aquarium Home

(See Fish Gallery Below)
Forty species of catfishes are found in North America; 15 species inhabit Virginia’s waters. Catfishes range in size from the small madtoms and bullheads (to 10" in length), moderately-sized (to 25") channel and white catfish, to giant flathead and blue catfish (to 5' and 130 pounds). All catfish are bottom-dwelling fish with large flattened heads, barbels (whiskers), no scales, an adipose fin, and mildly poisonous dorsal and pectoral spines.

Catfish have been widely distributed by man throughout the U.S. for sport fishing and fish farming. Except for the miniature madtom, which live in cold clear streams, catfish are warmwater (80-95F) fish that thrive in slow-flowing rivers and productive lakes and ponds. Catfish are spring cavity spawners that lay their adhesive eggs in a large mass hollow logs, bank holes, and old tires. Male catfish aggressively defend the eggs and young for several weeks after they hatch. Adult catfish are voracious predators on fish and other aquatic animals that feed primarily at night using their fine sense of smell and touch (barbels).

Sport and commercial fishing for catfish and the smaller bullhead species is very popular, especially in the South. Private fee-fishing ponds are frequently stocked in high density with channel catfish for pay sport fishing. Channel catfish is the number one warmwater fish farmed in the United States. This major commercial fish farming industry, centered in artificial ponds in Mississippi and Alabama where the growing season is nearly year-round, produces 400 million pounds of food catfish worth $330 million. Channel catfish are a fast growing, mild-flavored fish that have a high-feed conversion efficiency and tolerance for high density fish culture.


Black Bullhead
Black Bullhead
Blue Catfish
Blue Catfish
Brown Bullhead
Brown Bullhead
Channel Catfish
Channel Catfish
Flat Bullhead
Flat Bullhead
Flathead Catfish
Flathead Catfish
Margined Madtom
Margined Madtom
Mountain Madtom
Mountain Madtom
Orangefin Madtom
Orangefin Madtom
Stonecat
Stonecat
Tadpole Madtom
Tadpole Madtom
White Catfish
White Catfish
Yellow Bullhead
Yellow Bullhead
Yellowfin Madtom
Yellowfin Madtom

VAFWIS

Continue Browsing Families.....
  1. Petromyzontidae, Lampreys
  2. Polyodontidae, Paddlefish
  3. Acipenseridae, Sturgeons
  4. Lepisosteidae, Gars
  5. Amiidae, Bowfins
  6. Anguillidae, Freshwater Eels
  7. Amblyopsidae, Cavefishes
  8. Ictaluridae, Catfish
  9. Percopsidae, Trout-Perches
  10. Salmonidae, Trouts
  11. Clupeidae, Herrings
  12. Esocidae, Pikes
  13. Aphredoderidae, Pirate Perches
  14. Umbridae, Mudminnows
  15. Fundulidae, Killifishes
  16. Poeciliidae, Livebearers
  17. Cyprinidae, Minnows
  18. Catostomidae, Suckers
  19. Gasterosteidae, Sticklebacks
  20. Atherinidae, Silversides
  21. Cottidae, Sculpins
  22. Sciaenidae, Drums
  23. Percidae, Perches
  24. Moronidae, Striped Basses
  25. Centrarchidae, Sunfishes

Virtual Aquarium Home