Catfish Species in North America

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North American Catfish Species Overview

The North American freshwater catfish is a fish family found only in freshwater rivers and lakes of North America from southern Canada to Guatemala. There are about 45 species. Members of this family have no scales on their bodies and have 8 barbels near their mouths. They can grow up to 1.6 meters/63+ inches and over 65 kilograms/140+ pounds, but many species are small, weighing up to half a kilogram or just over 1 pound. Many of the smaller catfish species are generally bottom-feeders and scavengers, while the larger members of the catfish family are bottom dwellers and profound predators.