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Channel Catfish
(Lctalurus punctatus)
We are not responsible for errors or omissions.
When boating, regardless of water depth, wear a PFD!

Description Regulations Habitat Records

Gamefish in the Chicago Area include:

  • Fishing for these requires a trout stamp in addition to your fishing license.


Channel catfish prefer areas near old treestumps, fallen trees and logjams. They can be found on the edge of the main channel where the bottom drops sharply to deeper water. The fish rely primarily on sense of smell to find food so baits with a strong odor work best. Since light for vision is not required for feeding, sometimes the best time to catch catfish is at night.

Please check the fishing advisories for information.


There are no statewide creel or length limits for Channel Catfish. You still must follow any site specific regulations. Site specific limits

Habitat, habits and breeding

For much more information on breeding, habits and habitat, you can read the entire U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) for Channel Catfish This link is a scanned photocopy of the actual reports used by your local government to decide what fish to stock in particular locations. The reports are normally printed on heavy stock blue paper (You'll see the paper reflecting in the background of the scans. Warning: This report is a little over 2 meg in size and will require you to have Adobe Acrobat installed to view properly.


Illinois record: 45 lb. 4oz

North American Record: 58lb. 0oz

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