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5 Things I Learned about Channel Catfish

This whiskered, bottom-dweller generally measures 15-25 inches in length, but it can get bigger. Here are 5 other facts about the channel catfish.

These catfish are most active at night. They are also found to be out more often after rain.

Like other catfish, the channel catfish has no scales. It has sharp and deeply serrated spines on the dorsal and pectoral fins. Sometimes when caught, people are often “stung” by the spines on their fins.

Adult channel catfish consume fish like yellow perch and sunfish as well as snails, algae, snakes, frogs, insects, plants and even birds. At the Aquarium, they often enjoy chopped frozen fish like shiners, minnows and silversides, as well as a prepared gel food—think fish Jell-O—as well as a wide variety of pellet food.

Thanks to the Weberian apparatus, which connects the swim bladder to the ear, they are able to amplify vibrations coming from the swim bladder. This gives the channel catfish great ability to hear what is going on in their surroundings.

Channel catfish can live in fresh, brackish, and even saltwater, but they are generally found in freshwater environments, just like the lakes, ponds and rivers right here in Ohio.

You can take a closer look at the channel catfish and other large Ohio gamefish in the Ohio Lakes & Rivers Gallery at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

– Tyler H. 

With eyes up top and mouths down below, how do stingrays locate their food? You'll find out when you feed one.

Feed a Stingray
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