Yellow Head Catfish is a species of catfish that can reach up to 13 inches in length and weigh as much as 19 pounds. It is found mainly around the Amazon River, tributaries, and floodplains.
The species is found in slow-flowing waters with plenty of vegetation and areas with sandy bottoms. They mainly feed on small invertebrates, plants, mollusks, and smaller fish.
Yellow Head Catfish are not considered a threatened or endangered species, but their populations have been severely depleted from overfishing and habitat loss.
Characteristics of Yellow Head Catfish
Yellow Head Catfish have a Yellowish-brown head, with two black stripes on the shoulder. The body is yellow or white; dark vertical lines are found.
The dorsal fin has 13-14 soft rays, rounded and fringed ventrally; the anal fin has 3-7 soft rays and no adipose fin.
The snout is broadly rounded with an expanded lower lip and a slightly emarginated mouth. Cottony gills are serrated along the edges and reach to the throat.
The breeding behaviors of the Yellow Head catfish are not well known. It is believed that these fish spawn in mid-summer.
The female releases the fertilized eggs, and then the male fertilizes them externally. The eggs become sticky and are attached to plants, rocks, or other solid surfaces in flowing water.
The young Yellow Head catfish feed on invertebrates and small fish such as micro cores, freshwater shrimp, and larval insects.
The appearance of Yellow Head Catfish
The Yellow Head Catfish is widespread across the Amazon basin and the Orinoco River basin in Colombia. It also occurs in Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Brazil, and Venezuela.
The species has a large range, but its distribution is now strongly restricted by human activities, including habitat destruction. The Yellow Head Catfish has been reported from several rivers with tributaries of the Amazon basin.
Classification of Yellow Head Catfish
- Their body is compressed.
- Their snout is broad and rounded, with an expanded lower lip.
- Their mouth is inferior, emarginated, and moderately large; their teeth are well developed and pointed; their median fins have dorsal origin in front of the pectoral girdle.
- They lack an adipose fin
- They lack a ventral keel on the caudal peduncle
Pond Selection & Management
- Choose a spot that receives plenty of sunlight and has a gentle slope leading into the pond.
- If the area is overgrown with trees and bushes, trim them back to avoid sunlight from reaching the water.
- Avoid areas where dogs or other animals may have deposited waste in the soil around the pond area—human waste contains harmful bacteria that can be washed into your pond by rainwater.
- Additionally, be sure to eliminate insects and other organisms that may be harmful to your fish.
When will you leave this yellow Head Catfish fry in the pond?
When you have reached a length of at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) and have started to develop yellow on your head.
How old can these yellow Head Catfish get?
The species is reported to live for up to 11 years, although the maximum life span is unknown. Still, Yellow Head Catfish are reported to live up to 13 years in aquaria.
What is the Size of Yellow Head Catfish?
The size of an adult Yellow Head Catfish depends on its gender, age, health, and where it lives. In nature, males are usually larger than females.
Just like all other species of catfish, the female yellow head catfish is significantly larger than a male one. That’s why you should never mix these fish in one pond, as they can end up eating each other.
Why The Profitable Business of Yellow Head Catfish?
1. It is easy to breed and grow in captivity due to its small and unaggressive nature. 
2. Grows fast, weighing 1.5 kg after only one month. 
3. After 1 year of age, the Yellow Head Catfish can grow up to 9 kg in weight
4. They are omnivorous; they eat almost everything, including plants (algae). And they eat many times a day, so you don’t need too much fish food
5. They are “quick-growers” and reach maturity in just one year. 
6. They do not require large ponds; the average pond can hold about 6,000 fish.
7. These fish are primarily exported to China, HK, and Japan, where they can sell for up to $4/kg
8. There’s no real risk of disease: these fish have been practically immune to every known fish disease [ citation needed ]
9. The canaries are very easy to breed (if given the right environment, as mentioned above). The eggs can be fertile and fertile eggs are shipped immediately after spawning. This makes the supply of fish extremely high
10. These are very peaceful, gentle fish that do not jump out of ponds or bite or eat other fish (except another yellowhead)
How Yield of Yellow Head Catfish?
- Yellow Head Catfish reach maturity at about one year, and females can spawn year-round.
- The females can lay 50-100 eggs in a breeding season.
- The eggs are sticky, so they attach to plants, rocks, or other solid surfaces; the Yellow Head Catfish parents do not protect them from predators once they are laid.
- Once hatched, the tiny yellowish fish feed on invertebrates and small fish such as micro cores or freshwater shrimp.
Harvesting & Marketing of Yellow Head Catfish
Yellow Head Catfish are harvested from their ponds using a cast net stretched across the pond.
Catfish are marketed live to wholesalers, who can then either sell them to local markets or ship them to international markets for a higher price
Yellow Head Catfish can be processed for human consumption or feed for other animals or fish species.
Yellow Head Catfish (Hemichromis microps) is a catfish that has been in the market for quite a while now, and as you can see, there are many things to love about this fish.
First, it’s very easy to breed and grow in captivity due to its small and unaggressive nature. They are omnivorous and eat almost anything, even plants (algae).
Benefits Farming of Yellow Head Catfish
Here are 10 Tips for Farming Benefits of Yellow Head Catfish
1. These fish are primarily exported to China, Hong Kong, and Japan, selling for up to $4/kg.
2. Prices have risen steadily over the years, making them a worthwhile investment.
3. There’s no real risk of disease: these fish have been practically immune to every known fish disease [ citation needed ]
4. The eggs can be fertile and fertile eggs are shipped immediately after spawning. This makes the supply of fish extremely high
5. The canaries are very easy to breed (if given the right environment, as mentioned above). The eggs can be fertile and fertile eggs are shipped immediately after spawning. This makes the supply of fish extremely high
6. These are very peaceful, gentle fish that do not jump out of ponds or bite or eat other fish (except another yellowhead)
7. These fish do not require large ponds; the average pond can hold about 6,000 fish.
8. These fish are easy to feed, and their diet is extremely easy to adjust.
9. They mature very quickly and reach maturity in just one year
10. The small size of the Yellow Head Catfish makes them suitable for private fish ponds or even as aquarium fish
The market for the fish is very good, with significant growth expected in the coming years. They can be bred in large numbers, easy to sell. Yellow Head Catfish is becoming a very popular food fish locally and internationally.
Yellow Head Catfish are in high demand and making it worthwhile to invest time, money, and effort into this business. Thanks for reading! The Yellow Head Catfish.