A Kansas senator from Topeka said the channel catfish’s time was “long overdue” as the Senate advanced a measure Tuesday designating a state fish.
Sen. Anthony Hensley, a Democrat, said naming the channel catfish has been discussed for “a long, long time.” He recalled the debate reaching as far back as the early 1980s.
Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, joked that the channel catfish “has nine lives.”
Though Sen. Bud Estes, R-Dodge City, said he would have preferred a crappie as the state fish, he voted in favor of the bill.
Forty-six states have adopted an official fish. The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism requested the fish section of the proposal.
Baldwin City Democrat Tom Holland introduced an amendment designating a state red wine grape and a white wine grape, but it failed.
The measure, which passed the House last week, also designates the state rock as Greenhorn limestone, the state mineral as galena and the state gemstone as jelinite amber.
Elementary school students lobbied the House for the rock, mineral and gem portions.
According to the bill’s text, Greenhorn limestone is a staple of the Flint Hills and used in buildings throughout Kansas. Galena is a type of lead ore that propelled population growth in the state because it could be mined. And jelinite, formerly known as kansasite, is found near the Smoky Hill River.