Heavy rain brings out Walking Catfish throughout Tampa

Posted at 5:11 PM, Jul 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 17:11:09-04

It sounds crazy, but it's true, Walking Catfish were found in a North Tampa yard after a heavy batch of rain on Monday. 

Lydia Sams said she couldn't believe she found fish that look liked catfish in her front and back yards. 

"I don't live near any water," she said.

Sams and her family said the fish were walking up the dirt road, "yah, they actually were walking," she exclaimed. 

And, she's right, the Walking Catfish have a real name: Clarias batrachus. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said they have the ability to breath air and make short overland movement by pulling their pectoral fins. 

Although the fish are usually found in the Everglades, they can be found in storm drain systems in Hillsborough and Broward Counties. 

The fish are native of southeast Asia, but have been around Florida since the 1970s. 

FWC says possession and transportation of live walking catfish is illegal without permits.

So, a word of caution:  if you see a catfish walking up your street, you aren't seeing things.