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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Flathead Catfish
Aquatic Species
Species Profiles

Flathead Catfish

Flathead Catfish

Scientific name: Pylodictis olivaris (Rafinesque, 1819) (ITIS)

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

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Selected Resources

Native To: Mississippi and Gulf drainages (Fofonoff et al. 2003)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Stocked to non-native waters beginning in 1950s (Brown et al. 2005)

Means of Introduction: Intentionally stocked in rivers and holding ponds (Fofonoff et al. 2003)

Impact: Preys on native species (Fofonoff et al. 2003)

Current U.S. Distribution: Western U.S.; Atlantic Coast


Selected Resources:


Invasive Species Compendium - Pylodictis olivaris
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Pylodictis olivaris (fish)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database: Fact Sheet - Flathead Catfish
DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.
Provides distribution maps and collection information (State and County).

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS): Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database - Pylodictis olivaris
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

Flathead Catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) Ecological Risk Screening Summary (Sep 2014; PDF | 656 KB)
DOI. Fish and Wildlife Service.
See also: Species ERSS Reports for more species summaries

Fish Facts: Invasive Catfish
DOC. NOAA. Chesapeake Bay Office.

State Government

Freshwater Fish: Flathead Catfish
Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control. Division of Fish and Wildlife.

We Need Your Help: Invasive Catfish
Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

Flathead Catfish
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.


Factsheet: Flathead Catfish
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information


Flathead Catfish
Chesapeake Bay Program.


Brown, J.J., J. Perillo, T.J. Kwak, and R.J. Horwitz. 2005. Implications of Pylodictis olivaris (flathead catfish) introduction into the Delaware and Susquehanna drainages. Northeastern Naturalist 12(4):473-484.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Pylodictis olivaris. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Fofonoff, P.W., G.M. Ruiz, B. Steves, A.H. Hines, and J.T. Carlton. 2003. Pylodictis olivaris. In: National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System: Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database. [Accessed Sep 16, 2014].

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Last Modified: Jun 17, 2018
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