Ictalurus natalis

Habitat: The yellow bullhead is a catfish that prefers still river backwaters and farm ponds.

Range: Found statewide

Common Size: 6-10 inches, less than 1 pound.

Food Habits: mollusks, insects, fish, fish eggs and miscellaneous invertebrates

Spawning: Spawning occurs when water temperature reaches 75-80°F, which in North Carolina is in May through June. Sexually mature fish move into shallow water where they build a nest consisting of a small, circular depression. This nest may be located under logs, rocks or in open areas. The eggs are released in a mass of approximately 2,000- 4,000 eggs, which are fertilized and hatched in 5-7 days. After hatching, the young are herded by the male in a tight school until they are capable of caring for themselves.

Miscellaneous: Like most catfish, the yellow bullhead feeds mainly in the early evening and at night. Although edible, it is the least prized of the catfishes. Its prolific reproductive nature often cause stunting of farm pond fish populations