Arizona Game and FIsh Department - Managing Today for Wildlife Tomorrow: azgfd.gov Arizona Game and Fish Department
  

Phone Number
BUY LICENSES | BIG GAME DRAW | eNEWS | CALENDAR | VIDEO | HUNTING | FISHING | WILDLIFE VIEWING | CONSERVATION | EDUCATION | BOATING | SHOOTING | OHV | SITE MAP | EMPLOYMENT
 
AZGFD Home
expand icon eServices
expanded icon Newsroom
expand icon Hunting & Fishing
   
Hunting

Fishing

- Rules & Regulations
-

Sport Fish Species

- Where to Fish
- Urban Fishing
- Weekly Fishing Report
- Lake Levels/River Flow
- Stocking Schedule
- Fish Consumption Advisories
- State Records
- Big Fish-of-the-Year
- Hatcheries
Resources
expand icon Outdoor Recreation
expand icon Wildlife & Conservation
expand icon Education & Outreach
expand icon Inside AZGFD
Customer Service
 
Channel Catfish
 
Additional Sport Fish Species pages
 

Apache Trout
Arctic Grayling
Bigmouth Buffalo
Black Bullhead
Black Crappie
Bluegill
Brook Trout
Brown Trout
Channel Catfish
Cutthroat Trout

Desert Sucker
Flathead Catfish
Gila Trout
Green Sunfish
Largemouth Bass
Northern Pike
Rainbow Trout
Redear Sunfish
Roundtail Chub
Smallmouth Bass

Striped Bass
Tilapia
Walleye
White Bass
White Crappie
Yellow Bass
Yellow Bullhead
Yellow Perch


Brown Trout
Channel Catfish: (Ictalurus punctatus)
 

Description
Original range was the central drainages of the U.S. to Southern Canada and Northern Mexico.  Introduced to Arizona in 1903. Scattered black spots on a silver or gray colored back and sides with a white belly. Few spots on large adults. Smooth, scaleless skin. Four pair of barbels or 'whiskers'. Short base on small adipose fin. Deeply forked tail. Anal fin has 24 to 30 rays and is slightly rounded. Length 10 to 39 inches. Weight: 12 ounces to over 15 pounds.  Maximum age of 24 years.

Location and Habitat

Found in most warm water lakes and rivers. Inhabit deeper stretches of rivers and streams with moderate current.

 

Reproduction

Spawns from April through early June.  Gelatinous egg mass is laid in a hole or a cavity, generally in rocky areas.  These eggs are guarded by the male alone.  The male also guards their young for a time.  During the reproductive season, the male assumes a darker body color, often bluish or blue-black and develops thickened lips and bulging forehead.  Such fish are often mistaken by fishermen as another species such as a blue catfish.

 

Food

As scavengers, channel catfish will eat almost anything, dead or alive.  They prefer minnows, crayfish, and aquatic insects or invertebrates.  Feeds much more actively than the flathead catfish.

Angling
Effective baits are waterdogs, liver, blood bait, shad, shrimp, anchovies, stink baits, hot dogs, minnows and worms. Contrary to myth, the "whiskers" are harmless to touch and used only to smell, taste and feel as it forages for food. However, the dorsal fin and pectoral fins have a sharp spine which can inflict a painful wound.  In rivers, fishing swift riffles at night with light tackle for these fish can provide some superior sport fishing.  Most actively feed in evenings.

Table Quality
The meat is white, firm, tender and sweet and is considered very good eating.

Updated October 2009

 
Related AZGFD Info
- Watercraft
- Been Fishing?
- Sport Fishing Education
- Economic Impact
- Sign up for AZGFD eNews
 
Downloads [More]

Fishing &
Reptile/ Amphibian Regulations

  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]


  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]


  • 2013 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]



  • Arizona Residency Requirements
    [PDF]
NOTE: The above files are PDF's and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Mission | Frequently Asked Questions | Web Policy | Send Comments | Employment | Commission Agenda | Office Locations | Site Map | Search | © 2013 AZGFD