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Membership Meeting: MN Wild Fish and Raising Darters

Ray Katula

Ray Katula, fish culturist/hobbyist 
(Correction:  Ray has never worked for the Minnesota DNR.  He has volunteered a lot of hours doing fish surveys. The error was mine. - Dave Bishop)

NANFA Fellow (and past president) Ray Katula is an R&D Technician at Celanese Corporation. He has a degree in Business Management from Minnesota Southeastern Technical College. He had his first exposure to North American fishes while growing up literally on the banks of the Mississippi River. Ray has been breeding native fishes in captivity for 55 years starting when he was 10 years old. In that time, he has successfully spawned 166 species in 18 families. His first species was the Rio Grande Cichlid Herichthys cyanoguttatus.

Ray is a charter member of NANFA: he joined at age 11 and at 13 attended NANFA’s first annual meeting with founder John Bondhus. In the 1970s he dabbled in selling fish for the aquarium trade. Ray lived for several years in California and Oregon, where he collected and studied native fishes of the west coast and traded when possible for eastern species. He has written a lot for  Tropical Fish Hobbyist (TFH) and Freshwater and Marine Aquarium (FAMA) magazines, as well as American Currents by NANFA and in several fish state books. In  his last job he was a fish hatchery manager for NANFA founder John Bondhus. Ray’s primary focus is studying fish behavior and breeding native fishes.

His fish room currently contains thirty aquariums ranging in size from five to 70 gallons. It is in an extra room behind his detached garage, which is handy for keeping smells and free-flying fruit flies out of the house, which in turn sustains a healthy marriage.


Keeping and maintaining Minnesota’s native fishes can be a rewarding and fun hobby. His presentation will cover acquiring native fishes and setting up the native fish aquarium. From here he will talk about the captive maintenance of Darters which is also covered in an article he wrote for TFH, August 2000. That article also discusses conservation issues regarding Darters. After that he will discuss breeding and culturing Darters.

Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM Central Time (US & Canada) (UTC-06:00)
Additional Info:
Monthly Meeting
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
No Fee
Minnesota Aquarium Society
Suite 391
2355 Fairview Ave N.
Roseville, MN 55113