Blue Catfish - Ictalurus furcatus 

 

fish: blue catfish
Duane Raver/USFWS
Click on picture to enlarge

Oklahoma Distribution – Originally restricted to the Red River, blue catfish are now found in most sections of the state due to transplanting. They have adapted well to the Arkansas River System.

Description - Blue catfish have a forked tail as does the channel catfish. The anal fin will be straight across the bottom on a blue catfish. (Click on picture to enlarge)

Habitat – Found in large rivers and major reservoirs, blue catfish generally prefer areas with sand, gravel or rock bottoms

Natural Food Sources – Blue catfish feed primarily on fish, mussels, snails, insects and crayfish.

Spawning – Spawning usually takes place in late May or early June when the water temperature reaches 75 degrees F. Hollow logs, overhanging underwater ledges or holes under mud banks are typical nesting places. Females lay about 10,000 eggs each. Males guard the eggs against intruders, including the female. The eggs hatch in six to 10 days as determined by temperature. After hatching, fry are attended for a short time by the male as they feed in a dense school.

Facts – Blue catfish are a favorite of many anglers. Catfish feed more by taste and touch than by sight. Blues can exceed 100 pounds.