Blue Catfish at a Glance
; APPEARANCE: Blue catfish are blue-gray with silvery or white undersides.
Their tails are deeply forked and their anal fins are straight compared to
other catfish whose anal fins are rounded.
; SIZE & LIFESPAN: Blue catfish can live more than 20 years and reach
weights over 100 pounds.
; RANGE: Although native to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, blue catfish
can now be found in every major tributary of the Chesapeake. They are
most prevalent in the James, Rappahannock, and Potomac Rivers.
; DIET: Blue catfish eat at most levels of the food chain, consuming
everything from worms to crabs to fish.
SOURCE: MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Fishery Biologists Branson Williams (left) and
Tim Groves catch two large blue catfish on the
Potomac River. The fish were tagged and
released for data collection.