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It’s Catfish Gnome! And he’s making his annual appearance during the magical month of August, National Catfish Month, the only time this cool cat can escape the constraints of his tank. Now you too can catch that character of the murky depths.

    Where in the Web is Catfish Gnome? During National Catfish Month “catch” Catfish Gnome wherever he may roam on the Tennessee Aquarium's Web site to reel in a deal. If you’re fishin’ for more than compliments, get the angle on catch and release guidelines.

    Like other roaming gnomes, Catfish Gnome is on the move. Check out his travels and send your own postcard to friends and family. Use our captions or create your own.

    Gnomes are notoriously naughty when it comes to selling out their fellow feline fish, but they just can’t deny how tasty a fish dish they are. The Aquarium even has o-fish-al catfish recipes. Click here for more recipes. Or check out the dishes at Big River Grille, an official sponsor of the Tennessee Aquarium. Catfish aren’t just tasteeeeee, they have excellent taste. Did you know that a catfish has more than 27,000 taste buds?

    The dog days of summer can mean only one thing - it’s time to celebrate America’s favorite fish. You’ll be grinning from your gills to your tail fin when you see what’s flappin’ and happenin’ at the Aquarium during August.

    Aquarium biologists and officials with The Catfish Institute offer the following statements for you to grapple with.
    • The candiru, a small, South American catfish has been known to enter the urethras of bathers and swimming animals.
    • A female blue catfish can produce as many as 100,000 eggs at a time.
    • It is illegal to lasso a fish in Tennessee.
    • 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.
    • Texans eat more catfish than any other state in America.
    • The catfish is the official fish of Missouri.
    • Catfish don’t have scales.
    • 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.
    • The “whiskers” that make catfish look like cats are really barbels (bar-bulls), which are covered with tastebuds that allow the fish to find food in the murkiest of water.
    • Belzoni, Miss., claims to be the catfish capital of the world. They have a festival and a catfish eating contest.
    • The Aquarium features a large collection of freshwater catfish. They come from four different continents and range in size from 1 inch in length to 4 feet. Some species, like the blue and channel catfish in the Nickajack exhibit, are quite common. Others, like the red tail Sternella plecostomus in the Amazon River exhibit, are quite rare.
    • KING KONG MEKONG CATFISH -- In June World Wildlife Fund documented the world's largest living freshwater fish: 646-pound catfish netted in Thailand. Fishermen in northern Thailand netted a fish as big as a grizzly bear, a 646-pound Mekong giant catfish, the heaviest recorded since Thai officials started keeping records in 1981. The behemoth was caught in the Mekong River and may be the largest freshwater fish ever found.

    Download Catfish Gnome to color and check out some other kid-friendly activities and links. One of the staff favs is an online touch pool at Planet Catfish. It’s just plain wacky.

Presented by Big River Grille, official sponsor of the Tennessee Aquarium

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