National Catfish Month
Every dog has its day but the catfish get a whole month.
According to the Catfish Institute, the farm-raised bottom-feeders are now the fifth most popular fish in the United States. At their site, which is nicely done, you can order your free copy of Catfish: Quick and Entertaining. Entertaining? Do they jump out of the pan and tell one-liners? Gee, no wonder they are so popular.
Here are some catfish facts that you probably didn't know:
Catfish in the supermarket are all farm-raised, meaning they come from non-muddy human-made ponds that cover ten to twenty acres and contain 4-6 feet of clean, circulating water. This is a far cry from the near-stagnant reservoirs with 4-6 feet of mud at the base where I have caught the catfish I have tried to eat.
The baby catfish come from eggs that are harvested from mature catfish that breed in captivity for up to 12 years.
Instead of sucking up stuff that is dead and dying at the bottom of the pond, the farm-raised catfish spend 18 months growing to 1-1/2 pounds on a "puffed, high-protein floating food pellet (a mixture of soybeans, corn, wheat, vitamins and minerals) produced by area feed mills." Did I call these little rascals bottom-feeders? I take it all back.
Last year, Dolly Parton joined the likes of Burt Reynolds, Harry Connick Jr., John Grisham, Barbara Mandrell, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Bo Jackson, Randy Travis and Crystal Gayle by becoming the Catfish Institute's Celebrity Catfish Lover of the year. This gave the Institute a legitimate opportunity to put cleavage in a catfish website. Oh, well, I guess if the hot dogs could have Jayne Mansfield...
In 1997, the per capita consumption of catfish in the USA was one pound. Sadly, I think the per capita consumption of Skittles was higher than that.
National Clown Week runs from today through the 7th. I hate clowns. And I am not alone: