The mechanism of sex determination in channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus was evaluated by hormonal and genetic methods. Aromatizable and nonaromatizable androgens, as well as an estrogen, caused feminization in fish fed steroids for 21 days after yolk-sac absorption. The effectiveness of 60 micrograms of ethynyltestosterone/g food decreased markedly when the experimental feeding period was shortened and was ineffective when the treatment lasted less than 12 days. Females from all-female populations produced by treatment with sex hormones were mated with normal males resulting in nine spawns with a sex ratio different from 1:1. The sex ratios were statistically similar to 3 male: 1 female in five spawns, both 2:1 and 3:1 in two spawns, and 2:1 in two spawns. These data are consistent with a model for female homogametic sex determination in channel catfish and suggest that the YY equivalent genotype is viable.