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  Channel Catfish
(Ictalurus punctatus)
channel catfish.jpg

This is the largest member of the catfish family found in Canada. The average size of a catfish is is 1-2 kg, although in the southern United States, where water temperatures are warmer, this species can reach up to 27 kg. Members of the catfish family lack scales, can have poisonous venom in the fin spines, and have sensitive sensory (taste) cells located on the body and the barbels. In Quebec, this species is limited to freshwater habitats of the St. Lawrence River, its tributaries, and the Ottawa River. Channel catfish spines are commonly artifacts found by archaeologists; One specimen from Lake Huron was radiocarbon dated to be 3000 years old.

Distribution of the Channel catfish in Quebec:
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