Fact Sheet: Channel Catfish


Channel Catfish: Ictalurus punctalus

Scientific Name

Ictalurus punctalus

Market Forms

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


The average channel cat runs 1 to 5 pounds, although it can attain much higher weights.


Medium-dense, flaky and white, a mild delicate flavor.


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.


Catfish have long cat-like whiskers, or barbels, around the mouth to help locate food. Scaleless, the channel catfish is recognized by its forked tail and black spots scattered along its sides. As it matures, the spotting disappears to a silvery-grey blue above and white below.


Catfish are generally harvested by day boats in trap nets, haul seines, and trot lines.


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.