Fact Sheet: Blue Catfish


Blue Catfish: Ictalurus furcatus

Scientific Name

Ictalurus furcatus

Market Forms

Whole, dressed, fresh, frozen, filet, steak.


Blue catfish usually grows less than two feet long, but can be as long as 5.5 feet and weigh as much as 100 pounds. They can live up to 20-25 years.


The blue catfish is considered an excellent food fish with white, firm, delicately flavored meat.


March to December in Virginia.

Nutritional Value

116 Calories (100 grams, 3.5 oz.) 18.2% Protein 4.3% Fat .37% Omega-3


Wild catfish can easily replace farm raised catfish, tilapia, haddock and cod in most recipes.


Adult fish have stout bodies with prominently humped back in front of the dorsal fin. They resemble channel catfish by having deeply forked tails, but are dissimilar because they are unspotted and have a large straight edged anal fin. The back and upper sides are blue to slate gray, and the lower sides and belly are white.


Catfish are generally harvested by day boats, in trap nets, haul seines, and trot lines. Harvest size ranges from ¾ lb. and up.


Virginia's waters and products are regulated by federal and state agencies including the FDA, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, insuring that only safe wholesome seafood reaches our customers.