Creature Feature – Channel Catfish

By Kathleen Murphy

The Mystic Whaler hauled up a channel catfish measuring 19-inches long and 4.5-inches wide on Thursday morning while sailing with Arlington High School! Captain John Eginton said it was the largest catfish he had ever caught.

The channel catfish, also known by its scientific name as Ictalurus punctatus can grow to a weight of up to 20 lbs or more and is distinguished by its forked tail. Juvenile channels are covered in black spots, which fade once the catfish reaches adulthood.

Catfish are hardy creatures, withstanding low oxygen levels and high levels of turbidity. They have been known to survive by burying themselves in mud and breathing through their skin, much like eels. The channel catfish is one tough cookie!

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