All Things Southern
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Sunday
May292011

Catfish

There are many species of catfish, ranging in size from less than a pound to hundreds of punds each.  They can be found in all types of water including ponds, streams, lakes and rivers.

Once considered a 'trash fish' because it is predominantly a bottom feeder, catfish is now most often raised in ponds and fed a diet of grain.  Farm raised catfish is the largest aquaculture industry in the United States.  There are a vast amount of catfish farms in the Mississippi Delta due to the amount of wetlands.  In 2005, Mississippi produced 55 percent of the overall production in the United States in only 100,000 pond water acres.  Since it's origin in the 1960s, the catfish industry has grown rapidly and now has an economic impact in the hundreds of millions of dollars in Mississippi each year.  In 1963, Arkansas was the first state to produce farm-raised catfish on a commercial level.  Mississippi began in 1965 with commercial production and has led the catfish industry ever since.