August is the National Catfish Month!
Congress declared August National Catfish Month in the late 80s to recognize the contributions that the United States catfish industry made to the economy. Alabama, Arkansas and Louisiana and especially Mississippi produce the majority of the nation’s catfish.
Did you know that Mississippi is the leading producer of farm-raised catfish in the U.S., accounting for 45-55 percent of ALL farm-raised catfish in the U.S.? Farm-raised catfish is the largest aquaculture industry in the United States. Arkansas was the first state to produce farm-raised catfish on a commercial scale in 1963, and Mississippi was not far behind when it began its production in 1965. Since 1970, the rapid expansion of catfish production in the Mississippi Delta has helped the state lead the industry ever since. Today, more freshwater aquaculture is found in the Mississippi Delta than in any other region of the United States.
CATFISH FUN FACTS
- It is illegal to lasso a fish in Tennessee.
- The walking catfish moves across land from one body of water to another.
It uses its pectoral fins like legs and has a modified gill chamber to get oxygen from the air.
- Texans eat more catfish than any other state in America.
- The catfish is the official fish of Missouri.
- Catfish don’t have scales.
- The electric catfish, native to Africa, is capable of generating up to 350 volts.
- The glass catfish is mostly transparent and often seen in home aquariums.
- The “whiskers” that make catfish look like cats are really barbels (bar-bulls), which are
covered with taste buds that allow the fish to find food in the murkiest of water.
- Belzoni, Miss., is known as the catfish capital of the world.
They have an annual festival and a catfish eating contest.
Here is a selected poem to celebrate the month starting this Saturday!
Patricia Neely-Dorsey is the author of two books of poetry, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings-In Poems. Through her poems, the author hopes to protect, preserve and promote the rich cultural history and heritage of her state and region along with providing more positive images than all of the negative images usually portrayed. Patricia lives in Tupelo with her husband James, son Henry and Miniature Schnauzer, Happy. The author has been named a Goodwill Ambassador for the state by Governor Phil Bryant. Her slogan is “Always, Always Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi ” Her website is www.patricianeelydorsey.com and her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.