Yellow Bullhead

The Yellow Bullhead (Ameiurus natalis) is a species of bullhead catfish. Their range extends throughout the central and eastern US from central Texas north into North Dakota and east through the Great Lakes region to the coast. Its habitat includes pools, backwaters, and sluggish current over soft or mildly rocky substrate in creeks, small to larger rivers, and shallow portions of lakes and ponds.

Yellow Bullheads are typically yellow-olive to slate-black on the back and sometimes mottled depending on habitat. The sides are lighter and more yellowish while the underside of the head and body are bright yellow, yellow white, or bright white. The rear edge of its caudal fin may be rounded or nearly straight. The Yellow Bullhead is distinguished from the brown bullhead and black bullhead by its white barbels. It grows to about 18 inches long and can weigh 4 pounds or more.

The Yellow Bullhead feeds typically at night by scavenging on a variety of plant and animal matter, either living or dead. This includes small fish, crayfish, insects, snails, and worms. Both sexes build a nest and spawning begins in May and June. The nest is usually under a stone or log, or may be in a similarly enclosed burrow. Females lay 2,000 to 7,000 eggs that hatch within 5 to 10 days. Both parents guard the fry until July or August.