Ameiurus nebulosus

Identification Tips:

• Lacks scales.
• Adults are yellow-brown above and dirty white below. Juveniles are dark above and white below.
• Prominent, black tipped barbels project from head: 6 downward and 2 upward
• Fleshy adipose fin on back
• Spines: One in dorsal fin and in each pectoral fin
• Anal fin: 19-21 rays.
• Caudal fin: very slightly notched
• Adults may reach 30 cm length in the Fraser Valley.May reach 30 cm in Fraser Valley

Conservation Status:

British Columbia Canada Natureserve
COSEWIC Species at Risk Act
Introduced Species Not Assessed None G5

Information Source: BC Conservation Data Centre:

Life History:

• Also known as Brown Bullhead
• Breed in late spring or early summer in protected areas of shallow water (under rocks, in hollow logs, under docks).
• Fry are guarded by both parents for up to 5 days after hatching.
• Adults feed at night on mollusks, insects, leeches, crayfish, algae, aquatic plants, fish and fish eggs.
• Juveniles feed mostly on insect larvae.
• Mature in 3rd year and may live 6-9 years.


• Found in lakes, ponds, and slow moving creeks and small to large rivers, usually on or close to the bottom.
• Extremely tolerant of low oxygen levels, high carbon dioxide, high temperatures (> 30 C) and water pollution.


British Columbia
• Introduced to BC
• Widespread in the Fraser Valley and on southern Vancouver Island.

Global Distribution
• From Nova Scotia and New Brunswick west to Saskatchewan and south to Alabama and Louisiana,
• Introduced to numerous watersheds in western United States and to several countries in Europe and Asia


• Believed responsible for the extinction of an endangered fish in BC, the Hadley Lake Sticklebacks of Lasqueti Island.

Primary Information Source:
McPhail, J.D. 2007. The Freshwater Fishes of British Columbia. University of Alberta Press. Edmonton, Alberta.