Despite past opposition, some Kansas residents want the channel catfish to become a state symbol.
Supporters of the fish say it has a long history in Kansas and remains one of the most popular species in the state’s waters.
Bills to designate it as a state symbol have been introduced in Senate and House Committees. It was nominated by Robin Jennison, secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.
The Hutchinson News reports that earlier efforts to honor the fish failed. Opponents suggested a rarer species like the Topeka shiner, or considered the catfish a “second-class” species.
The Kansas Agriculture Department says the fish helps the state’s economy, as a favorite of anglers and as a major part of the state’s aquaculture industry.