Free to a good home – one characterful cat fish!
A South Shore restaurant is hoping to find a new owner for its well known mascot.
Fins ain’t what they used to be for Billy the catfish at the San Marco’s Italian restaurant in Lytham Road and he needs to net a new place to swim .
Owner Cinzia Lanza said Billy, who tips the scales at around 3kg, likes to be alone in his tank and that’s how he got his name – Billy No Mates.
She said he was given to the family as a surprise present and they did not realise he would grow so big.
She said: “He’s a channel catfish which originally come from America and they can grow up to four feet long.
“He has grown too big for the tank here at San Marco so he needs to go to a good home.
“He needs warm tropical water and so can’t simply go in someone’s garden pond. He needs someone to properly look after him.
“Billy is a real character and very tame, he will let you hand feed him.
“But we can’t put any other fish in there with him. He likes his own space.
“He either eats them or attacks them.
“We had a beautiful, silver, tropical fish in there and he just battered it against the rocks in the tank.
“It was very upsetting, especially for some of the diners. We have had him for three years now and will be sorry to part with him.”
She said that although they serve fish at San Marco’s they would not contemplate putting Billy on the menu.
“He is beautiful with really long whiskers. When we got him he was just eight inches long now he’s two feet long.
“He’s a bit of a fussy eater - he likes poached salmon, steamed mussels and king prawns!
“He would suit an enthusiast. I believe it is now illegal to sell channel catfish at pet shops in this country because they are not suitable for normal ponds.
“You may as well want a lion or an elephant as a pet.”
Channel catfish, Latin name Ictalurus punctatus, are native to the USA where they are commonly found in rivers and ponds and are a popular fish with anglers and regularly appear on the menu.
Their whiskers or barbels help them scent food in murky waters. They have spines in their pectoral fins to deter predators.
n To re-home Billy call (01253) 404010.