Recreation and Park District
Most catfish are bottom feeders. In general, they are negatively buoyant, which means that they will usually sink rather than float due to a reduced gas bladder and a heavy, bony head.
Catfish have a variety of body shapes, though most have a cylindrical body with a flattened ventrum to allow for benthic feeding.
In addition, channel catfish have taste buds distributed over the surface of their entire body. These buds are especially concentrated on the channel catfish's four pair of barbels (whiskers) surrounding the mouth — about 25 buds per square millimeter. This combination of exceptional senses of taste and smell allows the channel catfish to find food in dark or muddy water with relative ease.