Imperial Catfish is the largest producers of channel catfish and blue catfish in California. In fact, Imperial Catfish is the only major supplier of blue catfish in California. Our Farm is now nearly 600 acres in size, with our recent expansion. We supply "SILVER" channel catfish and blue catfish year round to the Asian food markets throughout Southern California, and also supply many of the recreational fishing lakes in Southern California during the summer catfish season. In these food and fish markets, you will see our catfish on display in live fish tanks where they are individually selected by the customer for dinner that evening. You can't get catfish fresher or better tasting than that. NOTE: We are the only catfish farm in California that has a huge supply of "Blue Catfish" available for the supermarkets and they are available EXCLUSIVELY from our Fish Brokers. CLICK HERE to read about the benefits of blue catfish and why they will bring many customers to your supermarket.
Under proper culture conditions the channel catfish and also the blue catfish has a mild, highly esteemed flavor. Farm raised catfish is very healthy for you and a chemical/drug free product. It is also very versatile and can be baked, barbecued, broiled, boiled, steamed, fried, deep fried and it can even be “cooked” by soaking it in lemon or lime juice. (Ceviche) Click here to download some great catfish recipes. Farm-Raised Catfish is a lean fish and an excellent source of protein. It is low in saturated (bad) fat and is a moderate source of polyunsaturated (good) fat and omega-3 fatty acids. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, moderate fish consumption - one to two meals a week - may cut the risk of sudden cardiac death in half. The results show that any kind of fish, including Farm-Raised Catfish, can make a difference.
When selecting catfish, always look for the lighter colored or "SILVER" catfish in the tanks at the markets. These "silver" channel catfish, or "Super Cats", are the type of catfish grown on our Farms. With just one taste of our catfish, you will be hooked. The texture is perfect, and the mild sweet flavor is un-forgettable.
Knowledgeable Fish Buyers and Brokers will avoid buying the black or darker colored catfish. This is because they know that many of these catfish are grown in round tanks or raceways along with Tilapia or other farmed fish and the taste and overall health of tank grown catfish can be much less desirable.
Off-flavor complaints are not an issue with our catfish. There are many reasons for this but mainly it's because we do not farm anything but catfish and our catfish are grown in big natural earthen clay ponds, never in small tanks or raceways. Pond culture is the preferred method of raising healthy and great tasting catfish. In pond culture, catfish are free to swim and grow in a large natural pond environment where they are able to feed and forage on natural foods like bait fish or zoo plankton and various types of insects. The nutritional benefits that these natural foods provide, helps supplement any missing nutrients that even the best commercial grade catfish feed might not be able to supply. Life in a natural pond environment is the best, it is also one of the reasons why our catfish adapt so well when they are stocked into recreational fishing lakes. Our specialty is catfish, and raising healthy great tasting catfish is all we try to do.
Try a taste test with one of our "Silver Super Cats" next time you purchase catfish and you will be in for a pleasant surprise. Our customers tell us that they never knew catfish tasted so delicious and if given a choice, they will only buy and eat our lighter colored or "silver" catfish in the future.
Our catfish are expertly fed with only the finest quality feeds, scientifically engineered and nutritionally sound to ensure the highest quality catfish, with a healthy high body weight, perfect body shape and a delicate mild taste that can't be beat. Many catfish farmers might use an inferior or less expensive grade of feed thinking that they might save some money, but we have found this to be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Excellent growth and good water quality is best achieved by using only the best quality feed available.
We air blow the feed from our feed tractor out into the ponds and as soon as it hits the surface of the water a feeding frenzy erupts and thousands of catfish scramble to the feeding area. The fish are fed a scientifically formulated diet of high-protein pellets that float on top of the water. Sometimes you will see what looks like a wave of water coming to the feed which is thousands of catfish racing to the food. Within only a few minutes, nearly every pellet of food is vacuumed up by what looks like a sea of catfish mouths breaking and thrashing the surface. The Imperial Catfish Farm is one of the few catfish farms where this kind of aggressive feeding is seen. Other catfish farmers say they have never seen catfish feed this frenzied.
Feeding catfish is both an art and a science which requires expert knowledge and experience. This is because each pond is very different from the others. Each will have it's own feeding requirements and the fish in each pond will respond very differently to the food. The goal is to give the fish plenty of food to be able to grow quickly without over feeding them. Feeding too much and allowing excess feed to remain in the water will negatively impact water quality and good water quality is probably one of the most important factors in catfish farming. Our expert in charge of feeding is Abraham and he has worked on the Farm longer than anybody and knows each pond like the back of his hand.
Everyday we harvest catfish and stretch a seine or long net at one end of the catfish pond which is slowly pulled with tractors to the other end. The seine or net is weighted on the bottom and the net holes are about 2 1/2 inches wide. Any catfish that is under 2 or 2 1/2 pounds will pass through the net and go back onto the pond avoiding the corral which is formed at the other end of the pond. When larger or smaller fish are requested, we will use nets with either larger or smaller holes to retain that size fish. Each fish is then hand sorted for exact size and superior quality and then held in holding pens for the morning deliveries.
Our catfish are delivered to the Southern California food markets and restaurants by our Fish Brokers. Each morning at about 5:30 am, they arrive at the Farm and we load their trucks with lively fresh catfish. If you are a fish market, a supermarket, or a restaurant fish buyer and would like to provide your customers with the finest catfish available, our Fish Brokers would be happy to deliver our catfish to you. Their contact information is available by clicking HERE.
We are also the major supplier of catfish to the recreational fishing lakes in Southern California. Our "Super Cats" are stocked in many of the State, County, and City park lakes throughout Southern California. The California Department of Fish and Game is one of our largest customers. We also supplied Los Angeles City and County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, Riverside County and many lakes in San Diego County. Additionally, we are also a big supplier for many of the popular "pay" lakes in Southern California like Santa Ana River Lakes, Anaheim lake and Corona Lake. Currently, Santa Ana River Lakes, Anaheim Lake and Corona Lake are the ONLY Lakes in California that are regularly stocked with big blue cats. They have the EXCLUSIVE on the "Blues". We have our own modern fleet of oxygen aerated fish transport trucks and experienced drivers to get the catfish safely to their destinations. Chances are good if you or your kids fish, you have probable caught one of our fish. It was probably that barbequed catfish you remembered tasting so mild and sweet. Fishermen often comment, that Imperial Catfish truly are "Super Cats", they love to catch them for their tough fight and their exceptional table fare.
If you are a buyer of catfish for recreational fishing lakes and would like a competitive quote for live delivered catfish to your facility please contact us at the numbers below and we will be happy to provide you with the finest catfish available.
The Imperial Catfish Farm is nearly 600 acres in size (click here for a partial aerial view) and the expertly maintained production ponds are each approximately 10 acres in size. Each pond is made of the finest clay soils which helps produce this popular and highly prized, light colored "silvery" grey channel catfish. Farm-Raised Catfish, raised in freshwater ponds has little impact on the environment. The National Audubon Society, Monterey Bay Aquarium, (2007 Sea Food Watch Guide) and Environmental Defense all recommend Farm-Raised Catfish as a safe environmental choice. All of our catfish are grown in natural earthen clay ponds and never in tanks like many catfish growers use. Tank raised fish are easy to spot, they are the dark colored or black catfish. We are also currently building twelve more 10 acre ponds on land we recently purchased next to our Farm. This will help us better supply our growing demand for the "Silver Super Cats". We have 11 of the new ponds complete filled with water and recently stocked with "Silver Cats".
Our Farms are located in the warm climate of Imperial County which is located between the Salton Sea and the Mexican Border. Imperial County is one of the Nation's major sources for agriculture. This warm climate provides us with the longest catfish growing seasons in California and enables us to produce larger catfish in a shorter period of time. In fact, due to the superior genetics of our catfish and this perfect climate, we can grow a catfish to market size in as little as 15 months or less, when other producers throughout the State might take up to 2 or 3 years to grow the same size catfish.
Imperial Catfish Farm is centrally located and only a few hours from either Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino or San Diego Counties. This convenient location insures that your catfish will be delivered healthy, lively and with minimal transportation stress.
Each year in May we set up our hatchery and begin the process of hatching millions of catfish fingerlings. This year, our goal is to hatch over 3,000,000 fry to help us keep up the huge demand for high quality catfish. The hatching process is truly an experience to behold. We do not purchase any fry or fingerlings from other producers. This is because we want to protect our genetic lines and know that our brood stock is the very best and has been expertly selected over many years. Our fish are known to grow fast and are strong and aggressive. Additionally, and most importantly, they have healthy genetics and have been very disease resistant. Early in the spring of each year, quality brood fish are selected for rapid growth and good market characteristics. These brood fish are placed in ponds that have been dried and cleaned and filled with fresh quality water. . After a few weeks, the spawning cans are checked for egg masses. When found, these eggs are removed from the pond and taken to our hatchery facility where they are artificially incubated. The eggs hatch in 4 to 8 days, depending on water temperature. The newly hatched fry (underwater video) remain in the hatchery for 6 to 10 days. At that time they are transferred to our carefully prepared nursery for grow out to about 1.5 inches. These fry are then sold or transferred to production ponds for the final grow out phase.
Our management and production teams were assembled based upon their hands on experience, knowledge and expertise in catfish farming and business management. All of our production team members have either owned, managed or worked on channel catfish farms some for 20 to 35 years, and have pioneered many of the popular fish farming techniques used today.
our team's General Manager, began growing catfish over 35 years ago and
previously owned F& F Fish Farm, a very successful catfish farm. Dennis is a
hands on General Manager and is considered to be one of the best in his field.
Dennis is the past
President of CAA (California Aquaculture Association)
and currently an active Board Member, and has been involved with CAA for years
to better the industry. Prior to becoming the Imperial Catfish General Manager,
Dennis worked at KENT SEATECH CORP., for many years as their Senior Fish
Culturist. Mike and Danny, our Managers from our St. Anthony's Fish Farm have
been in the aquaculture business nearly all their lives and are regarded as two
of the best hatchery and fingerling experts around. Mike is also one of our main
delivery drivers and he also helps operate our heavy equipment. Danny is our
main heavy equipment operator and is the best catfish pond builder in the
business. Currently, Danny and Mike are hard at work building our 12 new catfish
Arturo Esparza, is the Imperial Catfish Farm
Manager. He has worked on the Farm for many years and is responsible for much of
our past success. Arturo holds degrees in Oceanography and has extensive
knowledge and experience in all facets of aquaculture. We call Arturo our efficiency and production
expert. He is responsible for monitoring all of our fish inventory, which is a
difficult job to do. Our accomplished team is fully
self-sufficient and is responsible for making Imperial Catfish, probably the
largest producer of channel catfish in California this year!!
Lastly, a note on Quagga Mussels which have become and issue of great concern to many in the Southern California area. Aquaculture has never been implicated in the spread of Quagga Mussels and it is our intent to keep it that way. Here is a letter we sent to the California Department of Fish and Game, just prior to their inspection of our Farm for any evidence of Quagga Mussels, which they found none. It is a brief explanation of the Quagga Mussel prevention methods actively in use at Imperial Catfish
If you are a fish market, a supermarket, or a restaurant fish buyer and would like to provide your customers with the finest catfish available, our Fish Brokers would be happy to deliver our catfish to you. Their contact information is available by clicking HERE. NOTE: We are the only catfish farm in California that has a huge supply of "Blue Catfish" available for the supermarkets and they are available EXCLUSIVELY from our Fish Brokers. CLICK HERE to read about the benefits of blue catfish and why they will bring many customers to your supermarket.
Additionally, if you purchase catfish for stocking into one of the many recreational fishing lakes in Southern California, we would be happy to quote you our best price available and deliver them healthy and lively for your anglers to catch. It's true, "Super Cats" are what anglers want to catch, so keep them fishing at your lake by stocking our tough fighting and great tasting catfish.
Notice: Currently, we are only supplying our existing customers, and brokers and are not sell any fry or fingerlings.
If you would like to get on our waiting list for catfish, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org type "Waiting List" as the "Subject", give us your contact information, along with the quantity of catfish you would like delivered, and as soon as we have additional fish available we will let you know. Thank you!!
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Imperial Valley Fish Farm