Ictalunis punctatus


Reproduction

 

Channel catfish are monogamous during each season, meaning a male channel catfish will fertilize only one female's eggs.  They spawn between May and July when temperatures in the water are between 70F and 85F after preparation of a nest site and courtship between a male and female has taken place.  The nests are usually in dark crevices or other highly protected areas and are constructed only by the male catfish.  The female and male enter the nest and arrange themselves together in a head-tail position, with the female's head by the male's tail and vice versa.  Courtesy of Ohio DNRThe male then signals to the female to release the eggs and milt and the mating is complete.  The male then chases the female away from the nest and assumes full responsibility of the eggs. 
The eggs incubate in the nest for four to ten days and then the fry begin hatching.  The fry aggregate in a large mass while early development occurs and will last for a period of 1/2 to 4 weeks.  At this time, the juvenile catfish will emerge from the nesting area and begin life independently. 

 

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