Black bullhead, a catfish, is scaleless, has an adipose fin, 8 barbels (those under the chin are black), and a slight notch on the rear margin of the tail. The coloring is dark olive to black on the upper body, with a whitish belly. There are 17 to 20 rays in the anal fin. It averages 6 to 10 inches long, and seldom weighs more than 1 pound. Bullheads prefer shallow lakes and slow-moving streams with a soft bottom.
May or early June are the typical spawning times, when the bullheads construct saucer-shaped nests in the mud or sand in about 2 to 4 feet of water. Depending on the fish’s size, 2,000 to 6,000, eggs are laid. Eggs typically hatch in a week or less. The fry hold in ball-like schools which are protected by the parents until they are approximately 2 inches in length.
Black bullhead are omnivores, feeding extensively on insects and their larvae, small crayfish, worms, small mollusks, crustaceans, and a host of other animals and plants. Bullheads have been known to eat the eggs of other fishes, as well as feeding quite extensively on minnows.