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Flathead Catfish

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Flathead catfish
Flathead catfish - Photo by Eric Engbretson; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Scientific Name: 

Pylodictis olivaris (Rafinesque, 1819) (ITIS)

Common Name: 

Flathead catfish, yellow catfish, mud catfish, shovelhead catfish, johnnie cat, goujon, Opelousas catfish, flatbelly catfish, Mississippi catfish

Native To: 

Mississippi and Gulf drainages (Brown et al. 2005)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 

Stocked to non-native waters beginning in 1950s (Brown et al. 2005)

Means of Introduction: 

Intentionally stocked by anglers (NAS Database)


Preys on native fish populations (Brown et al. 2005)

Current U.S. Distribution: 
Western U.S.; Atlantic Coast

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides detailed collection information as well as animated map.


University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Flathead Catfish.

IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Federal Government

Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).
State and Local Government
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information

Chesapeake Bay Program.