Local News

Was it raining catfish? Man finds catfish in his yard

SEBRING - Charlie German walked outside of his home Friday morning and saw what he never expected to see in his yard.

He saw a catfish, and then found another one nearby, although his property is a distance from Lake Jackson.

"Them suckers had to have come down with the rain," he said.

Yes, according to various Internet sites, while it doesn't rain cats and dogs, sometimes it does rain fish. Such was the case, according to several articles, when hundreds of small fish rained down on Lajamanu, Australia in 2010.

But in the case of German's discovery of the catfish, that's not likely to be the case, said Gary Morse, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission.

After looking at a picture of one of the fish, Morse said, it appeared to be a walking catfish.

According to a Wikipedia article, the walking catfish is considered to be an invasive species from Southeast Asia.

"While it does not truly walk as most bipeds or quadrupeds do, it has the ability to use its pectoral fins to keep it upright as it makes a sort of wiggling motion with snakelike movements," the article said.

The fish has the ability to "walk" to other bodies of water, the report said.

The non-native fish will sometimes "walk" to aquaculture farms where native catfish are being harvested, necessitating the building of fences around the pond to keep out non-native predatory walking catfish, the article said.

Morse said it would have been unlikely for fish the size of a catfish to rain down on Florida, but added, "Certainly there could have been an unusual event that could have caused that."

He said another possibility could have been that an osprey could have dropped it into the yard.


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