About National Catfish Day
Catfish might be more of a regional favorite food than a national tradition. However, this regional favorite received national acclaim with its own presidentially recognized holiday in the 1980s.
According to the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, in 1987, President Ronald Reagan designated June 25 as National Catfish Day.
The designation was intended to recognize the contributions of American, farm-raised catfish to the agricultural industry, as well as the food's value to consumers. As the official government proclamation states, by the mid-1980s, catfish was the third most-consumed finned fish in the United States by volume, with nearly all of it being farm-raised. In the decade preceding the proclamation, catfish production had increased by 1,200%. The growth of the catfish farming industry also resulted in the creation of thousands of permanent jobs. The proclamation additionally stated that farm-raised catfish provided Americans with "a nutritious, low-calorie source of protein that is also low in cholesterol."
Catfish have a large, flat head and elongated body. The entire body of a catfish is covered with taste buds that can detect chemicals in the water and respond to touch. The greatest concentration of sensory organs is located on the whiskers. Catfish develop up to four pairs of whiskers.
Catfish can live in a number of conditions, with species that live in saltwater, freshwater and brackish water. Some catfish prefer stagnant water and others call rivers and streams with fast-moving currents their homes, it all depends. Some species of catfish are nocturnal(sleep during the day) while others are diurnal(active during the day).
Catfish are one of a few fish that have an organ called the Weberian apparatus that they use to communicate with each other underwater. The Weberian apparatus also helps improve its hearing ability. Catfish make additional sounds by rubbing parts of their bodies together underwater.
- Did you know? The catfish has over 27,000 taste buds.