Fun Channel Catfish Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Jan 14, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed
Channel catfish facts are interesting

Channel catfish are considered to be from North America, but later they were found all over the world. All their fins are soft, except dorsal and pectoral fins, they are so hard that it might leave a painful scar for a long time if not handled with care.

They have a forked tail, which is one of their distinctive features besides the barbels (around the mouth). Catfish prefer natural waters, with sand bottoms such as rivers and streams.

However, this is changing now, as they are sometimes found in lakes and ponds with muddy bottoms, too.

It is not difficult for them to find food, as they eat a wide range of species found in water, from snails to insects and even algae. Their diet changes as they grow older so does their body.

A channel catfish can live for about 15-20 years of age. However, the longest living catfish was recorded to be of 40 years.

The size, and look of catfish depend on their habitat. They require a minimum oxygen level of 1 ppm in water and find it difficult to survive if it goes beyond 4 ppm. Most of the catfish species are nocturnal except Albino channel catfish.

If you like reading more such interesting facts about animals, do check out our animal facts for immortal jellyfish and bowfin.

Channel Catfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a channel catfish?

A channel catfish is a type of Fish.

What class of animal does a channel catfish ​belong to?

Channel fish belongs to the class of fish in the Ictaluridae family.

How many channel catfish are there in the world?

The exact number of these fish is not known, however, they are popular throughout the world.

Where does a channel catfish live?

Channel fish live in the ocean.

What is a channel catfish's habitat?

A channel catfish prefers to live in natural waters such as rivers. They prefer sand bottoms instead of muddy ones. Although these are freshwater fish species, they can survive in brackish water, also.

Who do channel catfish live with?

A channel catfish lives in a group of its own.  

How long does a channel catfish live?

An average channel catfish lives for around 15-20 years. However, the longest living catfish was recorded to be of 40 years of age.

How do they reproduce?

The process of reproduction for a channel catfish starts depending upon the location, and the temperature. They prefer a moderate temperature.

Mostly, spawning occurs during May, it is the process of laying eggs in water. Spawning mostly takes place in semi-dark areas.

The male fish takes up the responsibility of finding the perfect space and preparing a nest. It will also protect the nest from outsiders, till the process is complete and the fry leaves the nest. The female who is attracted to that particular nest lays the eggs on the surface made for that purpose.

The male fish then takes care of the eggs by fanning them constantly with its fins, this process also cleans the eggs from all the waste that was given off while developing them. A channel fish becomes mature at the age of three.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species, the conservation status of a channel catfish is of the least concern.

Channel Catfish Fun Facts

What do channel catfish look like?

A channel catfish has a cylindrical body

A channel catfish has a cylindrical body. Their dorsal and pectoral wins are sharp spines.

It is so hard, that it can leave a massively painful wound, therefore, the fish should be handled with care. Towards the back, and in between dorsal and caudal fins is the adipose fin. One distinctive characteristic that differentiates it from other fishes is the barbels around the mouth and its tail fin which is deeply forked.

How cute are they?

A channel catfish is not cute to look at. The presence of barbels around their mouth makes them look strange.

How do they communicate?

A channel catfish can smell its prey in the water. They do so by using their taste buds. Most of the time channel catfish communication imvolves sounds or vibration. These species of catfish can produce sounds using an organ that is attached to their swim bladder. This is one of the primary ways of communication.

How big is a channel catfish?

A  channel catfish is one of the big species of fish. They are about 12-24 in long, and have 39-50 lb body mass.

How fast can a channel catfish swim?

The exact speed at which a channel catfish can swim is not known.

How much does a channel catfish weigh?

An average channel catfish weighs around 39-50 lb.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Channel catfish do not have specific names for their male and female species.

What would you call a baby channel catfish?

A baby catfish will be called a fry. It is a common term for all baby fishes.

What do they eat?

A channel catfish is an omnivore, which means they eat both plants and animals. Since they are aquatic beings, they mostly consume whatever is available to them under the water. The most common animals that are part of the channel catfish diet are small fish, insects, snails.

Are they dangerous?

A channel catfish is not dangerous for human beings. A lot of people believe that catfish stings, which is a myth.

Would they make a good pet?

Whether or not a channel catfish will make a good pet depends on a lot of factors. However, under normal circumstances, they are not considered to be good pets. Channel catfish requires a natural ambiance, and they feed on small insects, and snails which might not be possible to provide at home. Their size also keeps growing with age.

Did you know...

Channel catfish, like most animals, needs oxygen to survive. Oxygen helps them in energy production and also in building a lot of their body parts. Gills perform a very important function of turning oxygen into carbon dioxide.

Therefore, these catfish species have gills on both sides of their head. Gill is protected by a gill flap, it is a movable layer of skin that protects it.

A slender gill filament is also present on both sides, supported by a white gill arch. Lamellae is a thin plate present on all sides of these filaments. Blood vessels present in filaments transfers blood throughout their body from the heart.

A catfish can never stop growing. Depending on its age, the size of its body also grows. Therefore, it is easier to assume their age based on the size of their body.

It is one of the most interesting facts about channel catfish that their entire body is covered with taste buds. They even have a 'swimming tongue'.

A channel catfish is considered to be extremely hard to kill, which is why fishermen snap off their heads to prevent injury from their fins.

To protect themselves from predators, they camouflage themselves towards the bottom of the river, streams, or lakes, wherever they are.

The largest species of American catfish is the blue (channel) catfish.

Virginia catfishing is very famous because of the large population of catfish species present there.

The biggest channel catfish ever caught was in 1964 at Santee-Cooper Reservoir in South Carolina. It was a world record channel catfish and weighed 58 pounds.

The spines present in the dorsal and pectoral fin have venom, which can cause swelling and hemolytic when comes in contact with the skin.

An interesting species of catfish called the legendary channel catfish is said to be found in the San Luis river, but they have not been caught by any fishermen yet.

Do people eat channel catfish?

A lot of people eat channel catfish. This species of fish is considered to provide a lot of health benefits.

Fish is not just rich in nutrients, and vitamins but also in taste. They have low fats, and calories so they are considered to be a good addition to your regular diet. A catfish has low mercury content, which makes them one of the most consumed fishes around the world.

What other fish native to the same places as channel catfish?

Catfish are said to be native of North America, and so are Rainbow darters and Redline Darter.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including flounder and arapaima.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our channel catfish coloring pages.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

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Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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Fact-checked by Abdulqudus Mojeed

Bachelor of Law

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Abdulqudus MojeedBachelor of Law

A versatile professional with a passion for creative writing and technology. Abdulqudus is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Law from the University of Lagos and has experience as a tutor, intern assistant, and volunteer. He possesses strong organizational skills and is a detail-oriented person.

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