Channel catfish – fish family ictaluridae squad catfishes. The original range of this species included Northern Mexico, Central USA and South Canada, however later channel catfish were brought to Europe. In the seventies of last century it began to breed in the ponds of the Kuban basin, where the fish spread throughout the river system and into the don.
Channel catfish is among the commercial species, while the total yield exceeds all other catfish. In the US alone, production of this fish are approximately eight million fishermen.
The body channel catfish torpedo-like, elongate, with small head, on which are located four pairs of antennae. Back and sides of the fish have dark coloration (usually dominated by grey and bluish-olive tone), while the belly is white.
In North America, the channel catfish can grow up to 70 centimetres with a weight of about six pounds, but the average length of the fish usually is 35-50 inches, and weight ranges from 800-1600 grams. Much less weight have fish, acclimatized in Europe. So, channel catfish, inhabiting the don and Kuban, usually weigh about 350-600 grams.
Channel catfish prefers lakes and large rivers, often nesting in areas with deep, sandy-galechnikovymi. Sometimes these fish are also found in brackish areas of the seas and the brackish estuaries.
Channel catfish is a predatory fish, are most active in the dark. She hides during the day under rocks and in caves, and as the evening goes on the hunt. Extraction of channel catfish are small fish.
Sexually Mature channel catfish is becoming the most common age is 5-8 years, however in some waters the fish Matures much earlier. Spawning takes place in spring or summer, when the water is heated to a temperature greater than 24 degrees. Females spawn eggs (4 to 34 thousand eggs each) at a time – in nests dug by males among vegetation and stones.
After 5-9 days from the eggs hatch larvae, which at first remain in the nest, and then, reaching 12 mm in length, emerge and begin to feed. The diet of juveniles consists of a variety of small crustaceans, insect larvae, algae and molluscs. Channel catfish grow very quickly in the first year of life reaching lengths of more than ten centimeters.