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Fat cats
Celebrate National Catfish Month at the Tennessee Aquarium

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Aug. 3, 2006) – In August, visitors to Chattanooga can catch a "reel" legend of the South at the Tennessee Aquarium when they lay eyes on one of the biggest blue catfish in the world during National Catfish Month.

Tall tales of “catfish as big as Volkswagens” are as common as stories of the “one that got away.” However, the enormous blue catfish at the Aquarium aren’t fish stories. During National Catfish Month in August visitors can see giant blue catfish – some weighing more than 100 pounds – as well as other cool catfish species at the Aquarium on Chattanooga’s riverfront. The world’s largest freshwater Aquarium will reel guests in with narrated dives, gallery programs and an online catfish quiz.

To get hooked America's favorite fish, catch this:

  • 11 a.m. daily – See volunteer divers in the Aquarium’s deepest freshwater tank. It’s a treat to see the enormous blue cats in the Nickajack Lake exhibit. You'll catch some fast facts about our “fat cats” as well as other catfish species.
  • Cast about the Aquarium galleries to snag cool cat bits of info from educators and volunteers, as well as from special exhibit signs. The Aquarium features a large collection of freshwater catfish. They come from four different continents and range in size from 1 inch in length to 4 feet. Some species, like the blue and channel catfish in the Nickajack Lake exhibit, are quite common. Others, like the red tail Sternella plecostomus in the Amazon River exhibit, are quite rare.
  • Meet "Cat" Fish in purrrr-son. "Hey, man, slip me some fin." He's big. He's blue. He's cool. And he'll tickle you with his whiskers when he hugs you. Only during August can you meet "Cat" Fish and have your picture made with him.
  • 1 to 5 p.m. – Fishing for free family fun? The Environmental Learning Lab located in the IMAX building has lots of fishy kid activities that will tickle your whiskers.
  • If you were a catfish, what kind would you be? Answer a handful of questions on the online Catfish Personality Quiz and discover if your personality resembles a catfish character like “Iron Fin Jim,” “Tony Whiska Lips,” or “Vinnie Loose Lips.”
  • Send an e-card with your purr-sonal catfish likeness.
  • Get the angle on catch & release.

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Click here for National Catfish Month press kit and downloadable images w/ cutlines.

The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $22.95 for adults and $13.50 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

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