Here is an excerpt from a scholarly report dated 1999 that gives credible references to MONSTER Blue Cats of yesteryear, before the rivers were dammed up. Historical perspectiveRecords of large catfish date back to the Lewis and Clark exploration of the Missouri River. They described large white catfish, undoubtedly blue catfish, reaching nearly 1.5 m in length. Heckman (1950), in his Steamboating Sixty-Five Years on Missouris Rivers, provides the following account: Of interest to fishermen is the fact that the largest known fish ever caught in the Missouri River was taken just below Portland, Missouri. This fish, caught in 1866, was a blue channel cat and weighed 315 lb. It provided the biggest sensation of those days all through Chamois and Morrison Bottoms. Another fish sensation was brought in about 1868 when two men, Sholten and New, brought into Hermann, Missouri, a blue channel cat that tipped the scales at 242 lb. Heckman provides other evidence that it was common to catch catfish weighing 125200 lb from the Missouri River during the mid 1800s. Even Mark Twain, talked about seeing a Mississippi catfish that was more than six feet long (Coues 1965). In November 1879, the U.S. National Museum received a blue catfish weighing 150 lb from the Mississippi River near St. Louis. The fish was sent by Dr. J. G. W. Steedman, chairman of the Missouri Fish Commission, who purchased it in the St. Louis fish market. The following quote from a letter from Dr. Steedman to Professor Spencer F. Baird, U.S. Commissioner of Fish and Fisheries, suggests that catfish of this size were not uncommon. Your letter requesting shipment to you of a large Mississippi catfish was received this morning. Upon visiting our market this afternoon, I luckily found twoone of 144 lbs, the other 150 lbs. The latter I shipped to you by express.