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Channel catfish are one of 7 species of catfish that are native to North America. Laurel Lake is stocked with channel catfish yearly.

Channel catfish have no scales like bass or trout. Channel catfish have four pairs of appendages about their snout called barbels, sharp spines on their pectoral and dorsal fins, and a forked tail.

Channel catfish grow to an average length between 13 and 21 inches. The average weight of channel catfish is between 2 and 5 pounds. Note these are average sizes. Many 10 to 15 pound channel catfish have been caught. Some exceed 30 pounds.

Catfish have a highly developed sensory system extending over much of their bodies.

When confronted, catfish generally prevail in a predator-prey situation.

Following mating, both male and female care for their offspring until they have attained a size sufficient to fare for themselves.

Channel catfish inhabit cooler, swifter water areas than most species of catfish.