Flathead Catfish Pylodictis olivaris (Rafinesque, 1818)Non-native  -  Invasive  

Status:

Flathead Catfish is an invasive species that is now found in the Upper Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River and tributaries, the Potomac River, as well as the Elk and Sassafras Rivers. It is native to the Ohio and Mississippi River watersheds, and has expanded dramatically in Maryland since introduction here in the 1960s to 1980s. Flathead Catfish are ferocious predators that can reach 100 pounds and live at least 20 years. Imagine how many shad, perch, and other native species a beast like that will eat during a lifetime. With complicating factors such as dams and water quality issues, an overabundance of invasive apex predators isn't ideal.

"DNR asks anglers to remove and kill any blue and flathead catfish they catch. Catch and release of these fish is discouraged, as they are invasive top predators and pose a serious long-term threat to our native species." (Maryland DNR)

There are 6 records in the project database.

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A large Flathead Catfish caught on the Susquehanna River in Harford Co., Maryland (4/17/2016). Photo by Bob Cammarata. (MBP list)

A Flathead Catfish found dead along Octoraro Creek in Cecil Co., Maryland (4/16/2016). Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)


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