Disclaimer:

The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.




Ictalurus punctatus
Ictalurus punctatus
(Channel Catfish)
Fishes
Native Transplant
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Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque, 1818)

Common name: Channel Catfish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Becker (1983); Page and Burr (1991); Etnier and Starnes (1993); Jenkins and Burkhead (1994).

Size: Maximum size: 127 cm.

Native Range: St. Lawrence-Great Lakes, Hudson Bay (Red River drainage), and Missouri-Mississippi River basins from southern Quebec to southern Manitoba and Montana south to the Gulf. Possibly also native on Atlantic and Gulf slopes from the Susquehanna River to the Neuse River, and from the Savannah River to Lake Okeechobee, Florida, and west to northern Mexico and eastern New Mexico (Page and Burr 1991).

US auto-generated map Legend USGS Logo
Alaska auto-generated map
Alaska
Hawaii auto-generated map
Hawaii
Caribbean auto-generated map
Puerto Rico &
Virgin Islands
Guam auto-generated map
Guam Saipan
Native range data for this species provided in part by NatureServe NS logo
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences:

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Ictalurus punctatus are found here.

StateYear of earliest observationYear of last observationTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
Arizona1880201337Aqua Fria; Big Chino-Williamson Valley; Bill Williams; Bouse Wash; Brawley Wash; Canyon Diablo; Centennial Wash; Detrital Wash; Grand Canyon; Grand Wash; Havasu Canyon; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Imperial Reservoir; Lake Mead; Little Colorado Headwaters; Lower Colorado; Lower Colorado Region; Lower Colorado-Marble Canyon; Lower Gila; Lower Lake Powell; Lower Little Colorado; Lower Salt; Lower San Pedro; Lower Verde; Middle Gila; Middle Gila; Middle Little Colorado; San Francisco; Silver; Tonto; Upper Gila-San Carlos Reservoir; Upper Little Colorado; Upper Salt; Upper San Pedro; Upper Santa Cruz; Upper Verde; Yuma Desert
California1874201434California Region; Honcut Headwaters-Lower Feather; Imperial Reservoir; Los Angeles; Lower Colorado; Lower Pit; Lower Sacramento; Middle San Joaquin-Lower Chowchilla; Mojave; Owens Lake; Russian; Sacramento-Stone Corral; Salton Sea; San Diego; San Gabriel; San Joaquin; San Joaquin Delta; San Luis Rey-Escondido; San Pablo Bay; Santa Ana; Santa Clara; Santa Margarita; Santa Maria; Seal Beach; Suisun Bay; Tulare Lake Bed; Tulare-Buena Vista Lakes; Upper Cache; Upper Coon-Upper Auburn; Upper Mokelumne; Upper Pit; Upper Sacramento; Upper Yuba; Whitewater River
Colorado1880201519Animas; Colorado Headwaters; Colorado Headwaters-Plateau; Gunnison; Lower Dolores; Lower Green-Diamond; Lower Gunnison; Lower San Juan-Four Corners; Lower White; Lower Yampa; McElmo; Piedra; Republican; Rio Grande Headwaters; San Luis; Upper Dolores; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper San Juan; Upper White
Connecticut196019963Housatonic; Lower Connecticut; New England Region
Delaware197620077Brandywine-Christina; Broadkill-Smyrna; Chincoteague; Delaware Bay; Mid Atlantic Region; Nanticoke; Upper Chesapeake
District of Columbia201020101Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan
Georgia197120106Altamaha; Altamaha; Savannah; South Atlantic-Gulf Region; Upper Ocmulgee; Upper Oconee
Hawaii195320055Hawaii; Hawaii Region; Kauai; Maui; Oahu
Idaho1890201135American Falls; Bear Lake; Beaver-Camas; Big Wood; Brownlee Reservoir; C.J. Strike Reservoir; Clearwater; Coeur d'Alene Lake; Goose; Hells Canyon; Idaho Falls; Kootenai; Lake Walcott; Little Wood; Lower Bear; Lower Bear-Malad; Lower Boise; Lower Kootenai; Lower Salmon; Lower Snake-Asotin; Middle Bear; Middle Kootenai; Middle Snake-Succor; North Fork Payette; Pacific Northwest Region; Payette; Pend Oreille; Pend Oreille Lake; Priest; Salmon Falls; Spokane; St. Joe; Upper Snake-Rock; Upper Spokane; Weiser
Maine200120011St. George-Sheepscot
Maryland194920109Cacapon-Town; Chincoteague; Conococheague-Opequon; Lower Susquehanna; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Monocacy; Potomac; Tangier; Upper Chesapeake
Massachusetts197820052Charles; Middle Connecticut
Minnesota200020125Crow; Elk-Nokasippi; Sauk; South Fork Crow; Twin Cities
Montana198819881Flathead Lake
Nevada1937200812Carson Desert; Central Lahontan; Havasu-Mohave Lakes; Imperial Reservoir; Lake Mead; Little Humboldt; Lower Humboldt; Lower Virgin; Middle Carson; Muddy; Pyramid-Winnemucca Lakes; Truckee
New Jersey190520147Cohansey-Maurice; Crosswicks-Neshaminy; Hackensack-Passaic; Mid Atlantic Region; Mid-Atlantic Region; Middle Delaware-Musconetcong; Raritan
New Mexico1957201513Chaco; Cimarron Headwaters; Mimbres; Rio Grande-Albuquerque; Rio Grande-Santa Fe; San Francisco; Upper Gila; Upper Gila-Mangas; Upper Pecos; Upper Pecos-Long Arroyo; Upper San Juan; Upper San Juan; Zuni
New York198620053Chenango; Hudson-Wappinger; Lower Hudson
North Carolina1920201734Albemarle; Black; Cape Fear; Chowan; Contentnea; Deep; Fishing; Haw; Lower Cape Fear; Lower Dan; Lower Neuse; Lower Pee Dee; Lower Roanoke; Lower Tar; Lower Yadkin; Lumber; Middle Neuse; Neuse; Northeast Cape Fear; Pamlico; Pamlico Sound; Roanoke; Rocky; South Yadkin; Upper Broad; Upper Cape Fear; Upper Catawba; Upper Dan; Upper Neuse; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Pee Dee; Upper Tar; Upper Yadkin; Waccamaw
Oregon1889201326Beaver-South Fork; Brownlee Reservoir; Bully; Goose Lake; Lower Deschutes; Lower John Day; Lower Malheur; Lower Owyhee; Lower Willamette; Middle Columbia-Hood; Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula; Middle Snake-Payette; Middle Willamette; Molalla-Pudding; Pacific Northwest; Siletz-Yaquina; Tualatin; Umatilla; Umpqua; Upper Grande Ronde; Upper Klamath Lake; Upper Malheur; Upper Rogue; Upper Willamette; Walla Walla; Willamette
Pennsylvania196619864Lower Susquehanna; Lower Susquehanna; Susquehanna; West Branch Susquehanna
Puerto Rico193820075Cibuco-Guajataca; Culebrinas-Guanajibo; Eastern Puerto Rico; Puerto Rico; Southern Puerto Rico
South Carolina1951201223Carolina Coastal-Sampit; Congaree; Cooper; Lake Marion; Little Pee Dee; Lower Broad; Lower Catawba; Lower Pee Dee; Lumber; Lynches; Middle Savannah; North Fork Edisto; Salkehatchie; Saluda; Santee; Santee; Seneca; Stevens; Tyger; Upper Broad; Upper Savannah; Waccamaw; Wateree
Utah1880201529Duchesne; Escalante Desert-Sevier Lake; Hamlin-Snake Valleys; Jordan; Lower Bear-Malad; Lower Dolores; Lower Green; Lower Green-Desolation Canyon; Lower Green-Diamond; Lower Lake Powell; Lower San Juan; Lower San Juan-Four Corners; Lower Sevier; Lower Weber; Lower White; McElmo; Middle Bear; Middle Sevier; Price; San Pitch; Upper Bear; Upper Colorado-Dirty Devil; Upper Colorado-Kane Springs; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Lake Powell; Upper Virgin; Upper Weber; Utah Lake; Westwater Canyon
Virginia1969201430Albemarle; Appomattox; Chowan; Hampton Roads; James; Kanawha; Lower Chesapeake; Lower Dan; Lower James; Lower Potomac; Lower Rappahannock; Mattaponi; Middle James-Buffalo; Middle James-Willis; Middle Potomac-Anacostia-Occoquan; Middle Potomac-Catoctin; Middle Roanoke; North Fork Shenandoah; Pamunkey; Potomac; Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock; Rivanna; Roanoke; Roanoke Rapids; Shenandoah; South Fork Shenandoah; Upper Dan; Upper James; Upper Roanoke; York
Washington1892201832Banks Lake; Chief Joseph; Colville; Duwamish; Lake Chelan; Lake Washington; Lewis; Lower Columbia-Clatskanie; Lower Columbia-Sandy; Lower Cowlitz; Lower Crab; Lower Grande Ronde; Lower Skagit; Lower Snake; Lower Snake; Lower Snake-Tucannon; Lower Yakima; Middle Columbia-Hood; Middle Columbia-Lake Wallula; Nisqually; Nooksack; Okanogan; Pacific Northwest Region; Palouse; Puget Sound; San Juan Islands; Snohomish; Strait of Georgia; Upper Columbia-Entiat; Upper Columbia-Priest Rapids; Upper Yakima; Walla Walla
West Virginia199319931Potomac
Wisconsin195419833Manitowoc-Sheboygan; Upper Rock; Wolf
Wyoming188019957Big Horn; Blacks Fork; Little Snake; North Platte; Upper Green-Flaming Gorge Reservoir; Upper Green-Slate; White - Yampa

Table last updated 6/23/2018

† Populations may not be currently present.


Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked for sport fishing and food. The first introductions in the Colorado River took place in 1892-1893 or in 1906 (Miller and Alcorn 1946). They had become established throughout the Colorado basin by the early 1900s (Holden and Stalnaker 1975). The earliest stocking record for the Yampa River is from 1944 and involved 34,200 fingerling catfish (Tyus 1998). The introductions into Silver Lake and the Charles River in Massachusetts involved albino fish from the aquarium trade (Cardoza et al. 1993).

Status: Established in most waters where introduced.

Impact of Introduction: The Channel Catfish hybridizes with the threatened Yaqui catfish I. pricei in Mexico (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1994). Colorado pikeminnow Ptychocheilus lucius, an endangered species, have been documented to choke on introduced Channel Catfish when attempting to eat them (McAda 1983; Pimental et al. 1985; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1990). Jenkins and Burkhead (1994) speculated that introduced Channel Catfish may have contributed to the demise of an isolated population of trout-perch Percopsis omiscomaycus in the Potomac River in Virginia and Maryland. Introduced Channel Catfish may exert a major negative effect on populations of various endangered species. For instance, this species is known to prey on small and large endangered humpback chub Gila cypha in the Little Colorado River thereby limiting recruitment and also increasing adult mortality (Marsh and Douglas 1997). There is also evidence that this introduced catfish preys heavily on juveniles of razorback sucker Xyrauchen texanus that had been reintroduced into the Gila River of Arizona (Marsh and Brooks 1989). Introduced predatory fishes, including the Channel Catfish, may be partially responsible for the decline of the Chiricahua leopard frog Rana chiricahuensis in southeastern Arizona (Rosen et al. 1995) and have been shown to reduce the abundance and diversity of native prey species in several Pacific Northwest rivers (Hughes and Herlihy 2012).

Channel Catfish predation on crayfish resulted in a great loss of crayfish density in mesocosm experiments, and is likely the cause of native crayfish population decline in natural habitats where the Channel Catfish has been introduced (Adams 2007).

Remarks: Tyus et al. (1982) gave a distribution map for this species in the upper Colorado basin. Channel Catfish have also been stocked in many native areas including Arkansas (Robison and Buchanan 1988); Illinois (Burr, personal communication); Nebraska (Jones 1963). Harlan et al. (1987) stated that stocking in Iowa has widened this species' distribution. Cross and Collins (1995) mapped the species in every county in Kansas. Cross (1967) indicated a much more restricted distribution in the state and did not include every county. Presumably the more recent map indicates the species had been introduced to new locations since the 1967 publication. Cross (1967) also stated that it had been stocked in many lakes and ponds in the state.  Griffiths (1939) reported that the Channel Catfish was found in the ladders of the Bonneville Dam but no specimens were obtained. If introduction did occur it is though that they were unsuccessful.

According to Springsteen (2010), the Channel Catfish was the first species to be raised in commercial aquaculture for food purposes in the US.  Before that point, other species including tilapia and carp were raised in Egypt and China for sport.  The species was farmed in the Mississippi Delta region during the 1950s.

References: (click for full references)

Adams, S.B. 2007. Direct and indirect effects of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) on native crayfishes (Cambaridae) in experimental tanks. American Midland Naturalist 158: 85-96.

Becker, G. C. 1983. Fishes of Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, WI.

Bradley, W. G. and J. E. Deacon. 1967. The biotic communities of southern Nevada. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers No. 13, Part 4. 201-273.

Burr, B. - Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL. 1995.

Cross, F. B. 1967. Handbook of Fishes of Kansas. State Biological Survey and University of Kansas Museum of Natural History, Miscellaneous Publication 45, Topeka, KS.

Dahlberg, M. D., and D. C. Scott. 1971a. The freshwater fishes of Georgia. Bulletin of the Georgia Academy of Science 29:1--64.

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Deacon, J. E., and J. E. Williams. 1984. Annotated list of the fishes of Nevada. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 97(1):103--118.

Etnier, D. A., and W. C. Starnes. 1993. The fishes of Tennessee. University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN.

Everhart, W. H., and W. R. Seaman. 1971. Fishes of Colorado. Colorado Game, Fish and Parks Division, Denver, CO. 75 pp.

Fowler, H. W. 1906. The fishes of New Jersey. Pages 35--477 in Annual Report of the New Jersey State Museum (1905), part II. MacCrellish and Quigley, State Province, Trenton, NJ.

Fowler, H. W. 1952. A list of the fishes of New Jersey, with off-shore species. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia CIV:89--151.

Griffiths, F. P. 1939. Considerations of the Introduction and Distribution of Exotic Fishes in Oregon. Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 69: 240-273.

Harlan, J. R., E. B. Speaker, and J. Mayhew. 1987. Iowa fish and fishing. Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Des Moines, IA. 323 pp.

Hartel, K. E. 1992. Non-native fishes known from Massachusetts freshwaters. Occasional Reports of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Fish Department, Cambridge, MA. 2. September. pp. 1--9.

Hocutt, C.H., R.E. Jenkins, and J.R. Stauffer, Jr. 1986. Zoogeography of the fishes of the central Appalachians and central Atlantic Coastal Plain. 161-212 in C.H. Hocutt and E.O. Wiley, eds. The zoogeography of North American freshwater fishes. John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY.

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Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson

Revision Date: 5/29/2012

Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016

Citation Information:
Pam Fuller, and Matt Neilson, 2018, Ictalurus punctatus (Rafinesque, 1818): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?speciesID=2341, Revision Date: 5/29/2012, Peer Review Date: 4/1/2016, Access Date: 7/18/2018

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2018]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [7/18/2018].

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