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Black Madtom (Noturus funebris)

The Black Madtom or Noturus funebris is a freshwater fish that is part of the Catfish (lctaluridae) family. Sometimes referred to as the Bullhead Catfish this is just one of the 27 different species of Madtom found in the United States and Canada. They are not large, only growing to about 7" in length and are rather ugly with barbels and a broad tail.  

Black Madtom are found in streams and lakes, normally hiding under rocks and logs during the day in wait for nightfall. For this reason it is not often that an angler will hook one of these bad boys unless they are fish at dusk or at night.
These fish can by distinguished from other Catfish by their unique adipose fin. This fin continues with the caudal fin unlike other Catfish. They will feed mostly in the early dawn or at dusk on insect larvae and crayfish, although they are not picky and will eat pretty much anything that is available to them. Black Madtom fall prey to larger fish such as Bass and Pike, but are also preyed upon by water snakes and birds.

Spawning for the Black Madtom occurs from April to June depending on the water temperature. They will often construct nest under rocks which provides the freshly hatched fry with some beginner protection. Eggs only take about 8-10 days to hatch during which time the male will guard the nest. They are even know to guard the nest an additional 3 weeks after the fry are hatch. That is better then some parents I know.

If you have any additional information or fishing tips about the Black Madtom please leave us a comment below.

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