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Flathead Catfish

Scientific Name

Pylodictis olivaris (Rafinesque, 1819) (ITIS)

Common Name

Flathead catfish, yellow catfish, mud catfish, shovelhead catfish, johnnie cat, goujon, Opelousas catfish, flatbelly catfish, Mississippi catfish

Native To

Mississippi and Gulf drainages (Brown et al. 2005)

Date of U.S. Introduction

Stocked to non-native waters beginning in 1950s (Brown et al. 2005)

Means of Introduction

Intentionally stocked by anglers (NAS Database)


Preys on native fish populations (Brown et al. 2005)

Current U.S. Distribution

Western U.S.; Atlantic Coast

Flathead catfish
Image use policy

Flathead catfish


Photo by Eric Engbretson; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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  • Maryland Governor Moore Requests Federal Fishery Disaster Declaration for Invasive Blue Catfish

    • Mar 16, 2023
    • The Office of Governor Wes Moore (Maryland).

    • Governor Wes Moore is calling on the federal government to declare the expanding population of invasive fish species—including blue catfish, flathead catfish, and snakehead—to be an ongoing commercial fishery disaster in the Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay. The governor sent a letter [Mar 2023; PDF, 2.4 MB] to U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo requesting the declaration under provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act and the Interjurisdictional Fisheries Act. The declaration would qualify Maryland for federal fishery disaster assistance.

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Federal Government
State and Local Government