Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know

Stone Cat



Body color is yellowish-green to olive above and light below. The premaxillary band of teeth, a pad-like band on the upper jaw, is U-shaped, and the chin barbels are yellow. There are usually 16 rays in the anal fin. This fish has been known to reach 12-inches long, but it rarely exceeds 6- to 8-inches. Most anglers can distinguish this species from the other catfishes, but some confuse them with the young of other species.


Stonecat Distribution

Common in swift-flowing streams and widely distributed in the interior streams; taken occasionally in some of the natural lakes and in the Mississippi River.


Small fish, aquatic invertebrates

State Record

State Records are not documented for non-game species.

Expert Tip



The Stone Cat, together with the other madtoms, represents the smallest fish in the catfish family. The Stone Cat spawns in spring and, like all catfish, builds a nest and guards the eggs and young. Madtoms show nocturnal behavior and probably spawn in areas of darkness, like under rocks or in bank hides. The Stone Cat is the largest of the madtoms and lays between 500 and 1,000 eggs at a time. It prefers stream riffle habitats, but is also found under rocks or weedy shorelines of lakes and ponds.

Like most catfish, they are omnivorous and extremely adaptable in seeking food items in ponds and lakes.

Recent stream sampling information is available from Iowa DNR's biological monitoring and assessment program.


Present in these Iowa water bodies:

Lake/Stream County Location Acres/Length
East Nodaway River Page 72.00
Missouri River (Sioux City to Little Sioux) Harrison Chris Larsen Park: 1280 Larsen Park Road/Sioux City, IA. Located on the Sioux City riverfront along the Missouri River. Larsen Park offers 110 acres on the Sioux City Riverfront. Managed by the City of Sioux City. 64.00
Missouri River (Council Bluffs to state line) Fremont Lake Manawa State Park: 1100 South Shore Drive/Council Bluffs, IA 51501 phone: 712-366-0220. Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Lake Manawa State Park has boat ramps on the Missouri River within the park. 61.00
Little Sioux River (Correctionville to Missouri R) Harrison Little Sioux Park, 2 miles SW of Correctionville, Woodberry County Conservation Board 57.00
Missouri River (Little Sioux to Council Bluffs) Pottawattamie Wilson Island State Recreation Area: 32801 Campground Lane/Missouri Valley, IA 51555 phone-712-642-2069. Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Wilson Island Recreation Area has 544 acres along the Missouri River near Missouri Valley Iowa. 53.00
West Fork Grand River Decatur 41.00
Wapsi River Trout Section Mitchell Located 0.5 mile west of McIntire. 2.50
Bear Creek Fayette Located 6 miles southeast of Fayette off of Kornhill Road or CR C24. Access from 128th Street. 1.20