Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Channel Catfish

Scientific Name: Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus

Habitats: Great Lake Huron, Great Lake Michigan

Edibility Score:
1.0/5

Toxicity Level: High

State Recommended Max Servings Per Month: 1

Channel Catfish Ictalurus punctatus
Family Bullhead Catfishes (Ictaluridae)

The Channel Catfish does not venture far north, and we found no documented Channel Catfish in the U.P., all farther South in Wisconsin and Michigan.

The Channel Catfish, a native species in Michigan’s waters, deserves mention for its impressive size. These catfish can grow up to 40 inches long and weigh over 40 pounds.

The Channel catfish can be found in all Great Lakes apart from Lake Superior. Lake Michigan is home to two different catfish species including channel catfish, flathead catfish.

Michigan has many species of the catfish family are the bullheads (black, brown, and yellow), channel catfish, flathead catfish.

Channel cats are hard to find in our cold waters, most are found in the Lower Peninsula, and Southern Wisconsin with only bullheads and channel catfish found in the U.P

Wisconsin and Michigan have two types of Catfish.  The Channel Catfish and the Flathead Catfish.

Common names Channel catfish – channel cat. snotted catfish, snotted cat. lake catfish. Great Lakes catfish: northern catfish. fiddler.
Flathead catfish – flathead, Mississippi bullhead, Mississippi cat, shovelhead cat, shovelnose cat, yellow cat, mud cat, Hoosier, goujon.

Catfish prefer to rest during the day and prowl at night. The bite peaks 2 hours before sunset to early sunset, and another peak early sunrise.
The channel catfish and the flathead catfish are Wisconsin’s largest members of the bullhead catfish family (Ictaluridae), which also includes the bullheads.

Health : Local waters have PCBs, dioxin, mercury, PFOS, and other chemicals that can be found in fish and stay in our environment for a very long time.

Be aware of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services – The Eat Safe Fish Guide (ESF Guide)

Wisconsin has the a health guide for eating fish in Wisconsin – Choose Wisely Contaminate Advisories for Wisconsin

Fishing Season

Season:

Northern Wisconsin - Channel Catfish All boundary waters Open All Year
Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Cisco, Lake Whitefish, Round Whitefish, Smelt, Sunfishes, White Bass, Yellow Perch & Other Species
All waters open for fishing Open for Entire Year
Channel Catfish There is a daily limit of 10

LINK TO WISCONSIN REGULATIONS

Upper Peninsula of Michigan - Channel Catfish All boundary waters Open All Year
Channel Catfish, Flathead Catfish, Cisco, Lake Whitefish, Round Whitefish, Smelt, Sunfishes, White Bass, Yellow Perch & Other Species
All waters open for fishing Open for Entire Year
Channel Catfish Must be larger than 12" in Michigan There is a daily limit of 10

LINK TO MICHIGAN REGULATIONS

WI Fishing Hook & Line Record

Wisconsin Record Channel Catfish.

Weight - 44 lbs. 0 oz. Length Unknown.

Date - 1962

Location Wisconsin River Columbia County.

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Wisconsin Record Flathead Catfish.

Weight - 74 lbs. 5.1 oz. Length 53 Inches.

Date - 03/30/2001

Location Mississippi River Vernon County.

Wisconsin Hook and Line Records for Fishing

MI Fishing Hook & Line Record

Michigan Record Channel Catfish.

Weight - 40 lbs. Length 41.5 Inches.

Date - 1964

Location Houghton Lake Roscommon County.

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Michigan Record Channel Catfish.

Weight - 40 lbs. Length Unknown.

Date - 1960

Location Houghton Lake Roscommon County.

Michigan Hook and Line Records for Fishing
DNR Master Angler Michigan.gov Program and Map

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