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Catfish Fun Facts

  • During the 19th century, giant blue catfish weighing from 125 to 200 pounds were reportedly caught on a regular basis. In his book “Steamboating: 65 Years on Missouri’s Rivers,” Capt. William Heckman described a 315-pound blue cat caught just after the Civil War.

  • The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.

  • The candiru, a small, South American catfish is the only vertebrate parasite of people. It has been known to enter the urethras of bathers and swimming animals.

  • The walking catfish moves across land from one body of water to another. It uses its pectoral fins like legs and has a modified gill chamber to get oxygen from the air.

  • The largest confirmed record in the U.S. was a blue catfish weighing 150 pounds in 1879. The largest known blue caught in Tennessee was a 130-pounder, fished from the Fort Loudon Reservoir in 1976.

  • The big blue in the Aquarium's Nickajack Lake exhibit weighs more than 90 pounds.

  • A female blue catfish can produce as many as 100,000 eggs at a time.

  • The electric catfish, native to Africa, is capable of generating up to 350 volts.

  • The glass catfish is mostly transparent and often seen in home aquariums. Catfish are also included in aquariums as scavengers, to help keep the tank clean.

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Click here for National Catfish Month press kit and downloadable images w/ cutlines.

The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $21.95 for adults and $12.50 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

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