MuscatineJournal.com > News Casting call ... and the star could be the channel catfish; Reichert backs effort to designate a state fish By Chris Steinbach of the Muscatine Journal Font Size:Default font sizeLarger font sizeMUSCATINE, Iowa This fish story is true. Izaak Walton League of America members in Iowa have been trying for decades to have the channel catfish designated as the official state fish. And for the third consecutive year, Rep. Nathan Reichert, D-Muscatine, has taken the bait. Reichert filed a resolution earlier in the week in the Iowa House to make channel catfish the state fish. In the resolution, he calls the fish, which can be found statewide, the most preferred fish among Iowa anglers. Its long been one of those fish that, especially those of us along the Mississippi River, know, Reichert said Friday. Its a fish that means a lot to a lot of folks. The channel catfish, otherwise known as Ictalurus punctatus, is silver or gray and marked with dark spots. It can reach lengths of 20 inches by 10 years of age, according to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. An angler from Earlham, Iowa, caught the state record channel catfish which weighed 36 pounds, 8 ounces in 1993 on the Middle Raccoon River in Dallas County. Reichert said its time for a state fish because Iowa already has an official state: n Bird (the Eastern Goldfinch) n Tree (Oak) n Rock (Geode) Previous attempts in the Iowa Legislature to name an official state fish have been unsuccessful. There have been concerns in the past among some legislative leaders that the effort would not be taken seriously, Reichert said. He said there should be time to discuss the idea during the session, along with addressing the economic challenges and other issues facing state leaders. Sometimes its nice to talk about positive things like going fishing or hunting, Reichert said. Reporter contact information Chris Steinbach: 563-262-0535 email@example.com.