14 Facts About Channel catfish


Channel catfish are native to the Nearctic, being well distributed in lower Canada and the eastern and northern United States, as well as parts of northern Mexico.

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Channel catfish "cats" are cavity nesters, meaning they lay their eggs in crevices, hollows, or debris, to protect them from swift currents.

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Channel catfish often coexist in the same waterways with its close relative, the blue catfish, which is somewhat less common, but tends to grow much larger .

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The Channel catfish has a facial taste system that is extremely responsive to L-alanine and L-arginine.

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Younger channel catfish are more consistently omnivorous, eating a large variety of plants and animals.

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North American channel catfish is an ostariophysan, or a bony fish occupying a freshwater habitat.

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Territoriality in channel catfish is identifiable by a change in body odor, which is recognizable by other members of the same species.

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Since Channel catfish have a dominance hierarchy system, information relative to the change of status of any fish is important in recognition of the social strata.

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The pectoral spine of the channel catfish is an enlarged fin ray with a slightly modified base that forms a complex articulation with several bones of the pectoral girdle.

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The first ray of the channel catfish pectoral fin is a bilaterally symmetrical spinous structure that is minimally important for movement; however, it can be locked as a defensive adaptation or used as a means for sound production.

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In most Channel catfish, a drumming sound can be produced for this use, and the incidences of the drumming sounds can reach up to 300 or 400 per second.

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Channel catfish are omnivores, and can be caught using a variety of natural and prepared baits, including crickets, nightcrawlers, minnows, shad, freshwater drum, crawfish, frogs, bullheads, sunfish, chicken liver, hot dogs, and suckers.

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Channel catfish is one of only a handful of ostariophysan freshwater fish species whose genomes have been sequenced.

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Results from comparative genomics and transcriptomics analyses and experiments involving channel catfish have supported a role for secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins in scale formation in teleost fishes.

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