Pond Culture of Channel Catfish in the North Central Region

Joseph E. Morris, Iowa State University


The channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus, is the principal warm water species grown in the southeastern United States. In 1991 there were 390 million lb. of channel catfish (live weight) produced in this country, with the majority produced in Mississippi. The price of channel catfish decreased in 1991 compared to 1990 when the production was 30 million lb. less. In December 1991 the price of channel catfish delivered to processing plants was $0.53/lb. compared to $0.72/lb. in December 1990 (live weight). In wholesale terms, dressed whole fish were $1.23/lb. in 1991 and $1.61/lb. in 1990 for the same time period. At the 1991 prices many of the aquaculturists were either losing money or just breaking even. However, both prices and production increased by December 1992. For fish delivered to processing plants, the price increased to $0.63/lb. with 457 million lb. processed (live weight).