Catfish walking on land!?
(AKA Clarias batrachus)
- The walking catfish are a widely distributed species found across Southern Asia including Pakistan, Eastern India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Borneo, Laos and the Philipines. It's hard to determine, though, to what extent this distribution comprises the native range. In Southeast Asian this fish in valued for food and it's probable that human activity is responsible for the presence of this species in parts of its current range.
- Current Distribution: Specimens have been collected in multiple locations across California, the All American Canal in Arizona, widely separated bodies of water in Connecticut, the Flint River in Georgia, a lake in Massachusetts and a spring in Nevada. They are found across southern Florida. The only established, wild population is in Florida.
What makes them better than other native species?
Is it out of control?
How do we control the freaky catfish?
Control Method: Numerous countries have "blacklisted" the walking catfish. The United States has classified all members of the family Clariidae as injurious wildlife, illegal to possess without a federal permit. It is important to keep this fish contained because, once out in the wild, the population growth could be explosive in areas where there is a mild climate. In addition, the walking catfish is very hardy. It can survive months without food, and live in water that other fish would find intolerable. Poisoning it would be very difficult because it could walk elsewhere to avoid the poisons.