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Flathead 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


Flathead Catfish
Flathead Catfish : (Pylodictis olivaris)
 
Description
Native to the lower Great Lakes and Mississippi River Basin. Introduced into Arizona in 1940's. Back and sides mottled, dark-brown to yellow-brown; belly is yellowish-white. Head is broad and flat with small eyes. Large mouth, lower jaw projecting beyond the upper jaw. Adipose fin is large. Tail fin is flat or slightly notched. Length: 12 to 52 inches. Weight: 1 to 65 pounds. The max age is over 20 years.

Location and Habitat

Found in the lower Colorado River near Yuma, Gila River, Salt River, Verde River systems and reservoirs. Found near cover, in deeper, slower moving pools of rivers. Often congregate in swift water below dams to feed on live fish.  In lakes, prefer to utilize river channels.


Reproduction

Flatheads spawn in spring or early summer, building nests in caves, depressions under rocks or undercut banks. Will migrate upriver from reservoirs to spawn in deeper river pools.  The eggs are gelatinous and they cling together in an adhesive mass on the bottom. The eggs are vigorously guarded and defended by the male. During incubation and hatching the male will agitate the egg mass to help circulation.


Food
Young flatheads (up to ten inches) eat insects and crayfish, switching to a fish diet as they grow older. Typically solitary, territorial and prefer to lie quietly, ambushing their prey, rather than foraging actively. Flatheads feed heavily at night.

Angling
Live sunfish, carp and waterdogs fished close to the bottom of deep pools or in swift water below a dam is effective. Smaller flatheads can be caught with worms and chicken liver. Make sure to read the fishing regulations for special instructions about the use of live bait fish.

Table Quality
The meat is white, firm, flaky and has a good flavor. During summer months, meat may taste a bit muddy. Fish steaks can be cut from the larger flatheads.

Updated October 2009

 
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Downloads [More]

Fishing &
Reptile/ Amphibian Regulations

  • 2014 AZ Fishing Regulations
    [PDF, 7mb]


  • 2014 Urban Fishing Guidebook
    [PDF, 9mb]


  • 2014 Amphibian and Reptile Regulations [PDF]



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

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