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Blue Catfish


Blue Catfish are brown/ gray to slate-blue, with a deeply forked tail. They have four barbels ("whiskers") that hang from the lower jaw, two from each corner of the mouth and two from the top of the head near the mouth. The whiskers are harmless.

Blue Catfish can be differentiated from Channel Catfish by the straight edge on the anal fin (long fin on bottom, in front of tail).

Blue Catfish Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Size Limit No Size Limit

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Daily Limit / Person No Limit

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Delaware Range Blue Catfish have been reported in the Delaware River, the Nanticoke River, and in the Christina River.
Abundance in Delaware Waters Uncommon (for now)
General Habitat and Food Preferences Blue Catfish are primarily large-river fish, occurring at channel drop-offs and creek mouths.

Blue Catfish are opportunistic predators and will eat various fish species. Common prey items consist primarily of Gizzard Shad, along with crayfish, freshwater mussels, and other readily available aquatic food sources.
Did You Know? Blue Catfish are an introduced species to Delaware (meaning they are non-native).

These catfish are large, efficient predators that can grow to over 100 pounds.

Catfish have spines on the dorsal fin and pectoral fines near the head. Anglers often get punctured by these spines when handling catfish. The spines have mild venom, however it is not deadly. Be careful when handling.

Their whiskers possess excellent senses of smell and taste. Their entire body is also covered in taste buds. They help the Blue Catfish find food in dark or muddy water.
Common Lures and Baits Blue Catfish are a large predator, so cut fish, such as Atlantic Menhaden (Bunker) fished on the bottom, is often used.

INVASIVE: Please do not return to water. Immediately kill and contact Fish and Wildlife at 302-739-9914.
Typical Sizes Caught Being a newer invasive species to Delaware, minimal information is available on the recreational catch of Blue Catfish.

The Blue Catfish is a large fish that can exceed 55 inches in length and weigh as much as 100 pounds.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Live Release Award
Adult: 25 inches minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 23 inches minimum

Sport Fishing Tournament Award
Adult: 6 pounds minimum
Youth (age 15 and under): 4.5 pounds minimum

Blue Catfish are eligible for the Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament and Live Release "Catfish" awards, but not currently eligible for an individual species award.
Delaware State Record 36 pounds 3.2 ounces
Jordan Walker
2017

"Catfish" is a general category for records and can be any catfish species.

Blue Catfish are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.



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