Are catfish native to the USA?

Discussion in 'All Catfishing' started by LiquidSteel, Jun 21, 2007.

  1. LiquidSteel

    LiquidSteel New Member

    Messages:
    898
    State:
    La Vista N
    A freind of mine last night tried to tell me that catfish are not indigineous to the USA. That is to say that someone introduced catfish to America, and they didnt happen to be here naturally. I wanted to argue with him, but I had no facts to back up my argument, and neither did he.

    Is it possible that catfish were introduced to our native waters at one time, or have they always been here?
    :0a35:
    Please educate me!
     
  2. Kutter

    Kutter New Member

    Messages:
    5,379
    State:
    Arnold, MO
    It's been awhile since I read up on it. Yes, catfish are native to the USA. However, they are native to only some areas. Many parts of the country are not native habitats to flatheads. The Mississippi River system including the Missouri River System have been home to Flatheads for as far back as fossil records. The east and west coast river systems had no flatheads till they were introduced. Since introduction, they have become the top of the food chain in those areas and have caused concern in whether they are outcompeting native fishes. There have been threads here on the BOC concerning efforts to rid certain rivers of them. Bluecats have a much larger native range, but even then, are not native to a large part of the country. Channel cats, if I recall, are native to most of the countries river system.
    It has been some time since I read about this, so it is entirely possible that my facts are mixed up a bit. However, I stand by the assumption that it is correct in the basics.
     

  3. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

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    3,734
    State:
    Ohio
  4. CJ21

    CJ21 New Member

    Messages:
    4,303
    State:
    Montgomery, Alabama
    I've agree catfish are native to the USA. Now u need to ur Friend the BOC say so!!! We are the catfish experts :lol: .
     
  5. BIG GEORGE

    BIG GEORGE New Member

    Messages:
    10,362
    State:
    JOISY
    Only the white catfish is native to my river system. channels were introduced in the 50's.
     
  6. big-muddy

    big-muddy New Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    State:
    norfolk, va
    as far as i know there have been flatheads in the big muddy river since the indians lived there. earliest story i read was that someone hogged an 80 pounder in the 30's.
     
  7. jedt

    jedt New Member

    Messages:
    165
    State:
    Cameron,Texas
    Someone proly confused with carp cause there is so many of them too. European settlers introduced carp for a sportfish.
     
  8. big-muddy

    big-muddy New Member

    Messages:
    1,834
    State:
    norfolk, va
    you guys dont want those asian carp in your rivers. here is the midwest we are overrun. snag on snaggers!
     
  9. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,175
    State:
    NC
    Like others have said and linked to, yes, many species of catfish are native to the US. Many of them have been introduced to river systems that they were not native to, like the Arkansas blue catfish to Santee Cooper and the flatheads to other river systems. Most times it is government stocking programs that bring the fish to a region, but it is "angler restocking" that spreads it from there.

    In my home lake of Wylie, blue catfish and flatheads have never been stocked there by any agency, but the populations are thriving and growing.