TUNICA, Miss. (WTVA)-It all started in 1950's when the Battle family had some low land that didn't drain well enough to farm row crops so in the late 60's fish ponds were built on the land.
"That was kind-of a pioneer age," says farmer Billy Battle. "People always ate catfish because they caught them out of lake and streams, but actually raising catfish was very new. 1968 or 69 was the start up."
These catfish are born and raised in Tunica, Mississippi.
"We have a hatchery and we have our own brood stock," says Battle. "We hatch our fish from babies which are called frye. We raise the fish to about 6 inches, and then they are put in grow out ponds where they are raised and brought into the plant."
The plant here works everyday to produce fish that is delivered to several states.
"It's around 40 thousand pounds of fish a day," says catfish salesman Billy Mohead. "We ship to about a four state surrounding area. We sometimes ship to Texas, California, and Detroit."
Like all farming catfish farming has seasons too.
"In the winter time things kind-of slow down we have to chase birds off that eat the fish," says Battle. "In the summer months things speed up. We start having oxygen depletion problems, and we have to work 24 hours a day 7 days a week for months just to keep the fish alive and fed. It's really intense."
Mississippi catfish farmers are under restrictions on chemicals that can be used to help in this process so those in the industry have some advice.
"Check the labels closer when your buying catfish. Sometimes it's tricky; it called catfish but if you look close it may be from another country," says Mohead.
Other than hurting amount of consumers the catfish industry has Battle says if people buy the foreign competition catfish it also takes a hit on local jobs the industry provides.