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Flathead catfish

Pylodictis olivaris

Catfish Family

Freshwater Fish Identification

Flathead catfish


Common Name(s):
Yellow cat, mud cat, shovelhead cat
Description:
Flathead catfish are typically pale yellow to light brown on the back and sides, and highly mottled with black and brown. The belly is usually pale yellow or cream colored. The head is broadly flattened, with a projecting lower jaw. The tail fin is only slightly notched, not deeply forked, as is the case with blue and channel catfish. Young fish may be very dark, almost black in appearance. They have a large adipose fin and short anal fin with 12-18 rays.
Similar Fish:
White catfish, channel catfish
Feeding Habits:
Fingerlings feed on insect larvae, juveniles feed on small fish and crayfish, while adults feed almost exclusively on fish.
Range:
The native range includes a broad area west of the Appalachian Mountains encompassing large rivers of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio basins. The range extends as far north as North Dakota, as far west as New Mexico, and south to the Gulf including eastern Mexico.
Habitat:
Adults flathead cats are usually solitary, each staking out a favorite spot in the river, typically in deeper water or under cover, during the day. At night they may move into riffles and shallow areas to feed.
Typical Size:
A good size flathead will reach a size of over 30 to 40 pounds and be well over 2 feet in length.
World Record:
123 pounds, 0 ounces (Source - IGFA)