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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Catfish

March 9, 2016

Catfish bonesTo the right is a dorsal spine bone from a “mudcat” or “flathead” catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) found during excavations at the mid-19th century Second Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien. To the left are modern dorsal spines from mudcats weighing 8.5, 15.5, and 28.0 pounds (left to right). The Fort Crawford bone was probably from a fish 4.5 to 5.0 feet long and weighing perhaps 70 pounds or more. Mudcats this large or larger are still taken occasionally in the upper Mississippi River.