Freshwater Fish - Species
Species Specific Regulations
Freshwater Fishing License required.
Guide to Freshwater Fishes
(Adobe PDF - 3MB)
Yellow bullhead (Ameirus natalis) - Native
Description: (Anatomy of a Fish)
The yellow bullhead has a body that fades from olive to yellow to bright yellow on the sides to a white belly. The chin barbells, commonly known as whiskers, are distinctly white to yellow in color. The yellow bullhead also has a distinctly long anal fin and a rounded or nearly straight caudal fin.
Average Length: 6-10 inches
Average Size: 1 pound
South Carolina State Record: 6 pounds, 6.3 ounces (2009)
Life Expectancy: Approximately 7 years
Yellow bullheads can be found in a variety of habitat types but they typically are found in pools with soft bottom of silt or accumulated leaves in small - and medium-sized rivers.
- Crayfish, mussels, insects, fish and fish eggs.
- Yellow bullhead spawning occurs from May through June when water temperatures reach 75-80° F.
- Both the male and female participate in nest construction, but only the male guards the nest. The nests may be located under logs, rocks or in open areas.
- Approximately 2,000-4,000 eggs are deposited in a mass by one female.
- The eggs hatch in 5-7 days.
Like most catfish, the yellow bullhead feeds mainly in the early evening and at night. Although edible, it is the least prized of the catfishes. Its prolific reproductive nature most often causes stunting of sunfish populations in farm ponds by competing for available food.
Commonly Mistaken Species
Some species of fish that are commonly mistaken for this species are
- Black bullheads
- Brown bullheads
Rohde, Fred C, Arndt, Rudolf G., Foltz, Jeffery W., Quattro, Joseph M. 2009. Freshwater Fishes of South Carolina. University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, South Carolina.
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. 2009. South Carolina Guide to Freshwater Fishes.
Fish Illustration by Duane Raver.