Join the Hunt for...

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​Blue catfish are big, they're spreading, and they're hungry​.
The blue catfish is a rapidly spreading invasive species, and the gaping maw between its barbels spells death for blue crabs and native fish. Next time you’re out fishing or even grabbing groceries, be on the lookout for MAWS.



Chart depicting rise of blue catfish population over time.
Commercial landings of blue catfish from Maryland waters and the Potomac, starting in 2012, the first year when blue catfish were differentiated in the overall harvest numbers.

Blue catfish are large, fast predators that can spread quickly and take over ecosystems. They haven’t been here long, but they’re already present in huge numbers and only expanding further. In 2023, 4.2 million pounds of blue catfish were harvested from the Potomac and Maryland waters—a more than 500% increase from just 10 years earlier.

And they’ll eat just about anything in their path.

Read more about their spread and the dangers they present


Lucky for us, blue catfish are fun to catch and tasty to eat. Filets of blue catfish make a clean white, flaky meat. Try fishing for them yourself, or look for wild-caught Chesapeake blue catfish in local restaurants and grocery stores.​

Image of a man with a supermarket cart
Dine Out!

Restaurants and grocery stores with blue catfish.

Plan Your Date Night
Image of crackers with dip
Yes, Chef!​​

Blue catfish recipes to level up your next dinner party.

Start Your Oven
Man posing with a freshly caught blue catfish
Don't Get Catfished!

Learn how to identify a blue catfish from the poseurs.

Get the Tea

Getting control of MAWS will take a coordinated effort. Department of Natural Resources scientists are studying the fish, while commercial watermen and anglers are helping the ecosystem by removing the invasive species, one blue catfish at a time.

​Ready to Catch Maws? Get the Skinny Here!


Video by Winn Brewer

image of a blue catfish


Ready for a Deep Dive?
(You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat!)

​​Visit DNR Fisheries to learn more about blue catfish!