Ictalurus punctatus

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by zappaf19, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. zappaf19

    zappaf19 New Member

    Since I fish for channel cats the most this is what I have learned about them. The sci. name is Ictalurus punctatus I cant say it tho. LOL The body is cylindrical shaped like all cats and lacks scales. The dorsal and pectoral fins are the ones that put the hurt to us. The rest are a soft-rayed type. The channel cat is the only cat with a deeply forked tail fin.
    There color come from what the water color is they live in. In clear water they could be almost black. In muddy water they could look light yellow. The young ones have spots. Not any real pattern tho. As the young turn into adults they loose their spots.
    Channels like to live in medium to fast moving streams, but as we all know they can do fine in ponds, rivers, lakes etc. They like sand, gravel, and rubble over mud bottoms. They are not found very often in water plants. As we know during the day they like the holes on the bottom where protection of rocks and logs are. The best feeding times is after the sun goes down and right before sun up. The young channels seem to move around where the adults like to stay close to their homes.
    I fish during the day mostly and channels feed both during the day and night. Channels will eat plants! Like green algae. They will both top feed and bottom feed. The young will eat mostly water insects. Adult channels will eat of variety of foods. Night insects, snails, crawdads, seeds and small fish. They will even take a bird now and then. When the channel gets to be around 18” fish will make up to 75% of there diet.

    Water temp regulates channels growth. The best temp is 85 degrees. When the temperature is up they eat more when the temp is down they eat less. A temp change of 18 degrees will change there eating habits. The average size caught is less than 3 lbs. The world rec channel was 58lbs. Caught in a reservoir in S.C. in 1964. How big they get and how old they get depends on where they are. In natural water a channel will take 2 years to reach 1 lb in size. A study in the Ozarks found a channel would not reach 13” till they were 8 years old. The record found a channel of 40 years old. Now keep in mind that channel cat farms usually taken at 2 years. They are also the most farm-raised fish in this country.
    Water temps of between 75 and 85 are the temps that channels find best for spawning. They spawn in only secluded semi dark places in some sort of cavity. Males will build the nest in banks with holes, logs, under cuts, rocks etc. The male will fan out all the debris he can. He will then stay in the nest guarding his nest till spawning is done and the fry (babies) leave the nest. The eggs lay in a sort of gelatin mass. The female will lay 3000 to 4000 eggs per pound of body weight. Females only spawn once a year. The male my spawn twice a year but this is rare. In channel cat farms they can spawn up to 4 times a year. The age a channel will start spawning is 3 years of age. After the eggs are laid it will take 5 to 10 days for the to hatch. How soon they hatch depends on water temp. With the water temp at 78 degrees the eggs will hatch in around 8 days. Anything over 78 degrees take a day off. For each 2 degrees fall add a day. When the fry are born they have a sac which contains enough food for up to 5 days. While they have this sack they will surface to get air to help the to stay buoyant. There is an air bladder in the channels to do this.
    If you want to learn about the senses the cats have and how they work please check out cat senses in the general section. It is quite amazing.
    Hope you pick up something you did not know about channels, I did.
    Bill P.S. Thank god for grammar and spell check!
  2. Matthew72

    Matthew72 New Member

    Cobden Il.
    You did a great job on this. I read this with no trouble at all.:)