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Lewis & Clark as Naturalists
The Collection: Species Details Lewis and Clark as Naturalists
Fish    Species Name:
Ictalurus furcatus Valenciennes in Cuvier and Valenciennes

Common Name:
blue catfish


Bow Creek, Nebraska   August 25, 1804

The party caught and ate large numbers of catfish along the Missouri River. The men were surprised by their abundance and the size the fish would sometimes reach. Blue catfish could be hard to distinguish from the channel catfish, the other species found in the Missouri River. The fish's large size and weight mentionned here by Lewis and Gass suggest that they were blue catfish, the largest of the fresh water fish. In the 1800s, specimens over one hundred pounds were not rare. (Jonhsgards, 2003; Cutright, 1969)

Journal Entries:

Gass, August 25, 1804--Two of our men last night caught nine catfish, that would together weigh three hundred ...  more>>

See following caption
blue catfish

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