Channel catfish pitched as Kansas state fish

A channel catfish like this one is getting a lot of attention in South Dakota.

TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas legislators have advanced a bill to set in stone choices for the state’s official rock, mineral and gem, plus a state fish.

The House gave first-round approval to a bill designating four new state symbols.

The original bill focused only on rocks but a committee amended it to honor the channel catfish.

Republican Rep. Jan Kessinger of Overland Park said the catfish was added at the request of a fourth-grader who provided impressively researched testimony on the fish’s behalf.

And Democratic Rep. Eileen Horn of Lawrence assured the House that channel catfish could still appear on the menu even if the state honors it.

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