Fish Identification Guide

Blue Catfish
Ictalurus furcatus
Illustrations by Joe Tomelleri
Description: A scaleless, bluish-silver fish having no dark spots, an adipose fin, 8 barbels that are used to locate food, and a deeply forked tail. Its anal fin has more than 30 rays with a straight margin. Many anglers are mistaken by thinking the whiskers (barbels) can sting them. What they have to avoid are the hard spines (one in the dorsal fin and one in each pectoral fin) that can inflict a puncture wound if the fish is mishandled. Primarily feeds near or on the bottom. Mainly consumes live food items, including fish, invertebrates, fingernail clams and freshwater mussels.
Family: Catfish
Type: Sport Fish
Range: Missouri River; stocked in a few reservoirs in eastern and central Nebraska


Source: Nebraska Game and Parks Commission website at http://www.ngpc.state.ne.us