This species is found in river pools, backwaters, and sluggish current over soft or mildly rocky substrate in creeks, small to larger rivers, and shallow portions of lakes and ponds.. Bullheads are scavengers feeding at night mostly. Their diet includes a variety of plant and animal material, both live and dead, including small fish, crayfish, insects, snails, and worms.
Spawning occurs in May and June with males and females participating in nest building. Nest frequently are built under a log. Up to 7,000 eggs are deposited in the nest and hatch within 5 to 10 days. The fry are guarded by their parents for up to sixty days.
Yellow bullheads are chubby, scaleless fish with an adipose fin. They are typically yellow-olive to a blackish color on the back and sometimes mottled. The sides are lighter in color, often yellowish fading to a light yellow or white on the belly. Eight barbels grace their face and those under the mouth white or yellow colored, which distinguish it from the brown bullhead and black bullhead. Bullheads rarely exceed eighteen inches and a couple pounds.