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Species Identification



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Freshwater Fish Identification

Brown bullhead
Ameiurus nebulosus

Common Name(s):

Horned trout, red cat


The brown bullhead is yellowish brown with dark mottlings usually on the sides. The chin barbels are dark and barbs are present on the pectoral fin spine. The tail is square and the rounded anal fin has 20 to 24 rays.

Similar Fish:

Black bullhead, yellow bullhead

Feeding Habits:

Adult bullheads feed primarily by taste and smell and are most active at night. They eat a wide variety of food that includes: insect larvae, small crayfish, snails, and dead animals.


The brown bullhead is native to the eastern United States and southern Canada but has been widely introduced and can be found along many of the Midwestern lakes and river systems.


Brown bullheads live in shallow bays, on or near a soft bottom with lots of vegetation. They are found as deep as 40 feet. They thrive in warm water, and can tolerate higher pollution and carbon dioxide levels, and lower oxygen levels than most other fish species.

Typical Size:

The average sized brown bullhead caught by anglers weighs 1 to 2 pounds and is about a foot in length.

World Record:

6 pounds, 5 ounces (Source - IGFA)

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