Common Name

Scientific Name

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Photo Courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The black bullhead, Ameiurus melas, is one of two species of bullhead catfishes in Utah. The black bullhead is native to areas east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States, southern Canada, and northern Mexico. It has become established, however, in many of Utah's warm waters, where it is now a popular sport fish. The black bullhead is especially common in Utah Lake.

The black bullhead is an opportunistic bottom-feeder, eating fishes, many types of invertebrates, plant matter, and detritus. The species spawns from late spring to early summer; nests and young are guarded by parents. The black bullhead prefers the warm, slow-moving, turbid habitat provided by small water bodies and backwaters.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Sigler, W. F. and J. W. Sigler. 1996. Fishes of Utah[:] a natural history. University of Utah Press. Salt Lake City. 375 pp.