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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.

State Government

Flathead Catfish
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Flathead Catfish
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.


Flathead Catfish
University of Georgia. Marine Programs.

Fact Sheet: Flathead Catfish (PDF | 238 KB)
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.


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: Apr 13, 2017
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