What Are Some Facts About Catfish?


Quick Answer

Catfish are bottom-feeding fish that don't have scales. They use their long feelers, or barbels, which resemble a cat's whiskers, to seek out food. Catfish can live in both salt and freshwater. The fins on a catfish have sharp spines on the front that can cause painful injuries to predators, including fishermen.

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Full Answer

There are many different species of catfish located all over the world, including channel catfish, blue catfish, European catfish (wels), bullhead, madtom, oceanic catfish and stonecat. Freshwater channel catfish can grow up to 50 pounds but generally weigh between 2 and 5 pounds. Wels are the largest catfish species. They can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh around 450 pounds. The glass catfish is one of the smallest species and is approximately 4 inches long. One Asian species of catfish, called the walking catfish, can breathe outside of water, raise itself up on its front fins and use its tail to push itself from one body of water to another. Catfish primarily dine on frogs, insects and other small water animals, such as crayfish, though larger catfish may eat other fish. Freshwater catfish are commonly farmed in ponds and lakes to be used as food. Catfish farms are commonly found in the Central Southern United States.

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