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Catfish

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The catfish is a scavenger fish that is found in freshwater lakes and rivers throughout the United States. There is also a saltwater species in the Atlantic ocean.  In freshwater they can be found in clear lakes, rivers and streams but they seem to prefer shallow, slow moving water. They can also do very well in muddy water or water with little oxygen.

The catfish are scale less fish and they come in a variety of colors ranging from muddy yellow to bluish.  Because of the barbells resembling the whiskers of a cat on their upper and lower lip, they get their name. They use their barbells for locating food, and can create a wasp like sting if provoked. They can actually taste their food through these barbells.
There are over 37 different species of catfish. Some of the popular varieties of are the bullhead, the fiddler cat, channel cats, blue, white and sea catfish. The sea cat is an edible fish but is not very popular as a quality food fish.

Catfish are extremely popular in the southern regions of the United States and are grown commercially in fish farms to keep up with the huge demand. The blue and the channel cats are the most popular and are also the two varieties most widely farmed. The blue catfish is the largest of the two and has been known to reach 100 pounds. The channel catfish has been caught at 58 pounds but fish in the 20 pound range are rare. Both the channel and the blue are plentiful in the wild with the channel cat being the most abundant.

They are both sought by anglers for both food and sport.  The bullhead, another popular type of catfish, seldom reach 12 inches in length. The bullhead has a darker, red colored meat unlike the white meat of the channel and blue cats. The catfish is the state fish of Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and has been given the name of state commercial fish in Tennessee.

Cooking Catfish

Catfish Fillet

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They are mild in flavor with a tender flesh and a moderate fat content. The best way to cook is to bake, broil, sauté, oven fry, poach or steam. For cooking bullhead check out this link. Click on a link for easy ways of cooking catfish.
how to bake fish
broil fish
oven fry fish
poach fish
For information on other fish and how to cook them go to http://tocookafish.com/fish-index
If you need information on shellfish check out http://tocookashellfish.com

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