Catfish Life Stages

  • Egg
  • Catfish sac-fry absorb their yolk sacs.
  • "Swim-up fry" fed a high quality mash (45-55% crude protein and 12-16% crude fat) in a size 00 crumble. The swim-up fry are fed to satiation at least 8 times each day.
  • Fry are moved to ponds and fed twice each day with a #1 crumble with 45% crude protein and 12% crude fat, gradually increasing the feed particle size and reducing the protein and fat content.
  • Once the fingerlings are in the 4-6" size range, they may be fed 3/16" floating pellets with 36% crude protein and 6% crude fat. The fish should be actively consuming this feed before they are transferred to foodfish growout ponds.
  • Transferred to grow out pond, standard production feed for channel catfish is a floating feed with 32% crude protein and 5-7% crude fat, should be fed 1-3% of body weight each day during the growing season (April-October), depending on fish size and temperature. Feed 1% or less, 1-3 days per week during winter (Nov-March).
  • Mississippi Delta and in west Alabama, Catfish harvested when most of the fish are 1-1.5 lbs. The average size at harvest in NC is usually in the range of 1.5-2 lbs.

    * When gathering eggs from catfish: If the male should become aggressive and bite, grab its tail and squeeze to make it let go.