Flathead Catfish


flatheadcatfish.jpg

 

Common Name
Flathead Catfish
Category
Fish
ScientificName
Pylodictis olivaris
Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Osteichthyes
Order
Siluriformes
Family
Ictaluridae
Genus
Pylodictis
Species
olivaris
SubSpecies
 

 

Description
No scales; large body; wide, flat head with projecting lower jaw; wide mouth; small eyes on top of head; square tail with white tip on upper lobe of tail (caudal) fin; compressed body; pale yellow to light brown to dark mottled back and sides; mottled fins; white to yellow below; white to yellow chin barbels
Size
15 – 45 in. (38.1 – 114.3 cm) long; more than 50 lbs. (22.68 kg) is common; state record 97 lbs. (44 kg), caught in Green River
Ecological Role
The flathead catfish is a top predator in its ecosystem. It is a bottom feeder and usually feeds at night using the “sit and wait” method of hunting.
Fun Facts
Flathead catfish can be found in its favorite hiding place, and will be there day after day if not disturbed. They are a good sport and food fish, and can be harvested by the tickling and noodling method of fishing. The flathead catfish are important in the commercial fish industry in the Ohio River. They are often caught on trot or set lines baited with live or fresh-dead fish. Pylodictus is Greek, meaning “mudfish,” and oliviaris in Latin means “olive colored.”
Food
Young eat insects; adults eat fish, crayfish, small animals that get into the water; rarely eats decaying matter
Cover
 
Nest
 
Breeding
 
Eggs
 
Habitat
Usually a loner, found in secluded places, such as logs and other debris in deep water; small to large rivers and reservoirs; prefers low to moderate gradient streams and rivers; young found in rocky or sandy runs and riffles
Kentucky Distribution
Statewide in major streams, rivers and lakes
Life Cycle
 
Life Span
20 years
Life Stage
 
Reproduction
 
Seasonal Changes
 
Spawning
Prefers secluded, dark places, such as submerged timber, hollow logs, riverbank holes, and rock crevices; excavates saucer-shaped depression; eggs laid in compact, golden-yellow mass that is constantly cleaned and exposed to dissolved oxygen by male who fans eggs with tail fin; young stay tightly schooled for several days after hatching and are guarded by male for about a week
Status
Common
Uses
 
Voice
 
Young
 
What We Can Do
 
Host
 
Diagnosis and Control
 
Interesting Facts
 
Contributed By
 
Website