Black Buffalo


The Black Buffalo (Ictiobus niger) ​is an intriguing​ species in the family Catostomidae. This ⁢freshwater fish is ⁤typically found in North America, displaying remarkable characteristics and behaviors ⁣unique to​ its⁣ kind.

Conservation ‌Status

Although Black Buffalos are currently classified as Least Concern on the‍ IUCN Red List, this doesn’t mean they’re safe from the‍ threats⁤ of habitat degradation and overfishing. Efforts to protect these‍ species mainly include habitat restoration and restrictions on fishing activities during their spawning season.


Here’s a quick glance at the​ Black Buffalo’s various⁣ specifications:

Length (Average)Weight‍ (Average)Average Lifespan
30-60⁢ cm1.4-29.5 kg15-18 Years


There is a widespread distribution of ‍Black Buffalos in ​the Mississippi Valley and lower reaches of major tributaries, from ​Louisiana to⁢ Manitoba. These creatures do not typically ⁣migrate, seemingly preferring certain habitats over others.


These aquatic dwellers tend to prefer the murky bottoms of sluggish pools and backwaters with slow currents. The preferred temperature range for Black Buffalos⁢ is usually between 12-25°C.

When and Where to See

Black Buffalos are more noticeable ​during their spawning season in the spring and early summer when they emerge from the ‍depths in large numbers. You’re more likely to see ‌them at the crack of dawn‌ or late in the evening, around⁤ dusk.

Best Fishing Locations

Among⁢ the top regions⁢ to fish Black Buffalo are:

  • Mississippi River
  • Lower​ reaches ⁤of‍ the​ Platte River
  • Red River of the North
  • Arkansas‍ River

In general, you’ll have more chances of‌ discovering Black Buffalos in river systems ⁤with slow-moving currents, backwaters, or oxbow lakes.

How to ⁤Catch

Preferred bait: Corn,⁢ bread, or worms
Fishing ⁣techniques: Still fishing, bottom fishing
Best time: Dusk and dawn, but night ⁢fishing can also be productive.

Identification ⁤Guide

The ​Black ‍Buffalo has a dark‍ body‍ which ranges from brownish to bluish-black, and can be distingushed by its elongated round body. Its dorsal fin is strikingly large and sickle-shaped,​ while the ⁢snout is significantly pointed compared to other buffalo⁣ species.


How to Cook

Black Buffalo ⁣is often smoked,​ pan-fried, or made into fish cakes. The flesh, when cooked, has a sweet and slightly oily taste that goes well ⁢with various herbs and spices.

Nutritional Information

This fish is a source of high-quality ‍protein, contains essential ⁤omega-3 fatty acids, and is rich‍ in vitamins⁤ like B12 and D.

Additional ‍Information


Black Buffalos are bottom-feeders with a preference for feeding at night, predominantly‍ on algae, aquatic plants, and small invertebrates.

Predators and Threats

Natural predators⁤ strictly consist of​ larger aquatic species. However,​ human activities such ‍as overfishing and habitat degradation present significant threats to these fish.

Cultural/ Historical Significance

The Black Buffalo holds ⁢significance in some Native American cultures, being seen as a symbol⁢ of abundance and ⁤fertility.

References and Further Reading

Here are some‍ resources for a deeper dive into the Black Buffalo ​species: