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Blue catfish

Ictalurus furcatus

Catfish Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Blue catfish


Common Name(s):
Channel cat, hump-back blue
Description:
Blue catfish have a forked tail, and are sometimes very similar to channel catfish. However, only the Rio Grande population has dark spots on the back and sides. The number of rays in the anal fin is typically 30-35, and coloration is usually slate blue on the back, shading to white on the belly.
Similar Fish:
Channel catfish, white catfish
Feeding Habits:
The blue catfish pursues a varied diet, but it tends to eat fish earlier in life. Although invertebrates still comprise the major portion of the diet, blue catfish as small as four inches in length have been known to consume fish.
Range:
Blue catfish are native to major rivers of the Ohio, Missouri, and Mississippi river basins. The range also extends south through Texas and into Mexico.
Habitat:
Blue catfish are primarily large-river fish, occurring in main channels, tributaries, and impoundments of major river systems. They tend to move upstream in the summer in search of cooler temperatures, and downstream in the winter in order to find warmer water.
Typical Size:
Blue catfish are the biggest of the catfish and commonly attain weights of 20 to 40 pounds, and may reach weights well in excess of 100 pounds.
World Record:
121 pounds, 8 ounces (Source - IGFA)