Flathead Catfish are restricted to large rivers in southeast South Dakota and Lake Mitchell in Davison County. Their preferred habitat is the warm water of large rivers and impoundments. Flathead Catfish seem to avoid fast currents and instead seek deep pools with abundant cover. They feed on live or dead fish but may also eat insects and crustaceans.
The body of the Flathead Catfish is tubular in shape and lacks scales. Their body is brown to yellow and is mottled or speckled with darker brown-black colors. The belly is a pale yellow to cream color. They have a broad, flat head with a protruding lower jaw. The barbels are a striking characteristic of this species and other catfish family members.