The Brown Madtom has a disjunct distribution largely in tributaries to the Mississippi River from Louisiana to Tennessee but also including portions of the lower Tennessee River Drainage and a few Gulf Coast drainages in Louisiana and Texas. They live over soft substrate with woody debris of creeks to small rivers. As the common name suggests, Brown Madtoms have brown coloration along their body. As members of the catfish family, all madtoms have whiskers (barbels) around their mouth with taste buds that aid in finding food. Like all members of the genus Noturus, Brown Madtoms are smaller catfish reaching a maximum size of 5.75 inches.